As the deadline for delivering final layoff notices to teachers approaches, the school district and teachers' union has come up with a tentative agreement to try to save positions as well as staffing and counseling ratios.
According to the district, the SRVEA bargaining unit members will take four furlough days in the next school year. These include two instructional days and two staff development days. A revised instructional calendar is expected to be released by May 30.
The total savings to the district for the furlough days would be about $3 million, according to district spokesman Terry Koehne. For the teachers alone, not including classified staff, the savings is $2.2 million.
Also included in the agreement, the district has said it will maintain middle and high school staffing and counseling ratios as in the current year.
Superintendent Steven Enoch has called this agreement "equitable," adding that preserving jobs "has always been our highest priority throughout this process, and I am hopeful that these employee concessions will allow us to rescind the vast majority of our layoff notices."
Koehne said the teachers' union negotiations took a few months and were "more difficult than normal."
"As long as I've been here, we've never mentioned the words 'furlough days,'" he said. "This is an agreement that while we are pleased that it's going to mean that we will be able to preserve jobs, no one's really celebrating this. [People are going to work for less money next year and that's certainly not something we're celebrating."
The deadline to send final notices of layoff to certifi Ken Mintz said the district delivered about 170 notices of possible layoff in March and they he's hopeful that the board will come up with solutions to rescind most of those notices.
The governor's budget revision is expected to be released May 14. The timing is difficult, Koehne said, as final staff decisions will likely need to be made Tuesday night, before having a clearer picture of the budget.
"We're treating this as not just a one-year situation, this is a multi-year problem," he said. "If all things remain the same as far as the financial outlook and with our growth projection, we're still looking at $10 million deficit in 2012-13."
"This is a one-year agreement, so we'll be back at the table again next year," he continued. "I think think that people understand that by employees sharing the burden, it means that we're able to preserve jobs and that's been our highest priority."
This story contains 456 words.
If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.
If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.