By Mary O’KEEFE
The Glendale Unified School District and Glendale Teachers Union remain in a holding pattern as they await the results from the fact finding report expected by Aug. 15.
At the July 27 GUSD school board meeting Assistant Superintendent John Garcia ran through a Power Point presentation to help clarify the time line of when the negotiations began and where the two entities are at present.
Meetings between GUSD and GTA representatives began on Nov. 30, 2009 and continued through Feb. 3, 2010. After the February meeting, the district team declared an impasse due to the lack of progress in the negotiations. Three days later it sent a declaration of impasse to Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) with its “last, best and final offer.”
Ten days later PERB confirmed moving forward with mediation to settle the remaining issues of health benefits and hours of employment.
During the months of negotiations/mediation the district raised its maximum contribution toward health benefits from the first offer of $11,780 to $13,547.
There were two mediation sessions, one in March and another in April. After the last session according to Garcia, GTA President Tami Carlson signed a tentative agreement. This included one furlough day on June 21, 2010 and five furlough days in each 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 and also adjustments to the out of pocket health benefits.
But that tentative agreement was opposed and the members did not ratify. In early June the mediator certified the parties to fact finding.
“We tried to set up meetings on June 3 and June 23 but teachers declined to meet with us until the fact-finding on July 16,” Garcia said.
The fact finding mediator made a proposal of seven furlough days in each school year from 2010 to 2013; a district maximum health benefits contribution of $14,100; continued full payment of dental, vision and life insurance; and a return of all RIF (Reduction in Force) teachers. These are teachers that were laid off due to budget concerns.
“GTA rejected that proposal,” Garcia said.
Now the two parties are on hold until the fact finding report is delivered. That report will be made public on Aug. 25. GTA President Tami Carlson was not able to be reached by press time.