Editorial: Teacher negotiations stalled
Douglas County’s school district officials and teacher union representatives are engaged in contract negotiations that have been stalled since last summer. To their credit, both sides have agreed not to air their affairs in public.
But there’s no mystery to the demands. As in any employee-employer relationship, the struggle is over money.
Despite their pledge of silence, information from both sides is out in the community. Copies of the teachers’ position have made their way to our office, and with 458 teachers in the district, it’s unrealistic to expect that people are unaware of what is happening.
Teachers and administrators say they are eager to settle the contract. The ensuing stalemate is the worst in 20 years. The dispute is headed for arbitration, and the administration has filed a complaint against the teachers with the Employee Management Relations Board.
No one is suggesting that the process is easy; on the contrary, negotiations can be exhausting and contentious.
Contract negotiations, inevitably, are about numbers: salaries, benefits, experience, and other weighty issues. We would remind both sides that among the numbers to be considered are 7,000 students in the district whose welfare is the concern of all sides as well as the Douglas County taxpayers who will pay for whatever emerges from the contract settlement.