Friday, August 10, 2012
D300 Contract Mediation To Start Next Month
The District and union called in a mandatory State mediator two weeks ago after talking about the 2012-13 contract since January. Monday's the first day of school in D300.
Based on releases and public comments, what appears to be shaping up is a conflict over the size of classes, but not necessarily how to make them smaller. The new budget the Board will likely approve Monday only calls for hiring 4 new teachers overall, according to Human Services head Eberto Mora at Wednesday's Finance Committee meeting. Cutting class size by one student would cost $1.4 million per year, he said.
"This annual cost would need to be absorbed either through contract negotiations or elsewhere in the district budget," read Thursday's D300 release. If class size isn't reduced, the District has to pay teachers for handling extra students. So-called overload pay cost $800,000 last year, down from $1.28 million in 2010-11.
The trick for negotiators is to balance overload costs against the price of adding new teachers, estimated at upwards of $50,000 per year apiece on average. The other problem is possible salary increases. Last year's 12-month contract didn't include any.