Teachers’ contracts could be negotiated next month

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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A short 35-minute school board meeting matched the shorter-than-usual agenda. The meeting took place at a different location than usual, which was Lincoln Crossing Elementary School. “We try to have a light meeting when we visit a school because we try to focus on the school,” said Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman. “We completed all of the business we needed to and it happened to take 35 minutes.” School board meetings usually take place at Lincoln High School. Tuesday’s two agenda items were reopening negotiations for teacher contracts and the Placer County School Board Association election. Negotiations between teachers and the school district could begin in mid-November at the request of both parties. That’s according to Western Placer Unified School District director of human services Ryan Davis, who presented an information item to the school board and public regarding Western Placer Teachers Association labor contracts on Tuesday night. The contract between the school district and its teachers was adopted in June 2011 and is good through June 30, 2014, according to Davis. The group contains 315 teachers and certificated staff, which includes nurses, counselors and speech pathologists, and covers kindergarten through 12th-grade, special education and preschool, according to Davis. The district is asking to negotiate salaries and benefits “that reduce employer costs and/or acheive a fiscal savings for the district.” Davis said the Western Placer Teachers Association asked to open two articles of their contract for negotiation, which are safety and class size. “We finished a contract last year and part of the contract allows them to re-open certain articles,” Davis said. The information was presented during Tuesday’s meeting “to allow the members of the public to become informed and have the opportunity to express themselves regarding the public,” according to Davis. There were no public members present for that item. No board members commented on the item.