New Model for Negotiating Salaries and Employee Benefits Approved with 98% Approval

The Salida School District Board of Education is set to approve a new model for negotiating salaries and employee benefits.  The new model utilizes an interest based bargaining format within a collaborative bargaining team.  Previously the district utilized a traditional negotiation model between the Board of Education and the teacher’s association. In the spring of 2014 the district and the association came to an impasse at negotiations.  Several issues separated the two teams. The system of traditional negotiations had been in place since 1968.  Rather than further pursue a combative ending to the matter, the Board of Education and the association agreed to develop a new model for having discussion of compensation and working conditions.  A 16 person team was developed based on a more egalitarian philosophy.  Every category of employees joined the team, including; Board of Education, Teachers, Administrators, Cooks, Bus Drivers, Para-professionals Assistants, and Custodial.  The new team insured that all voices were included in the process of negotiations.  The team sought not to change compensation or working conditions, but to translate the old system into the new collaborative system.  After two years and over 165 hours of formal meetings the team has presented its recommendation and accompanying policies.  The recommended policies have been reviewed by the Board of Education in March and April. In May the entire 194 staff members voted to support the team’s recommendation.  88% of the staff participated in that vote, and it passed with a 98% approval.  The final reading of the policy change is set by the Board of Education at the June 6th regular meeting.