As you start the 2016-17 school year, you are working under an expired contract. State law requires that the District maintain most contract provisions during the “status quo period”. Your bargaining team has continued to meet in interest-based sub-groups with the District over the summer.
The process has been time-consuming, but has produced several consensus decisions that might not have been reached in traditional bargaining. On the other hand, we have had difficulties with the District refusing to implement parts of our first IBB decisions on safety/student discipline. Additionally, we believe that the District has not staffed high schools in compliance with our current contract and has unilaterally changed instructional minutes for 6-8 grade teachers at PK-8 schools.
With the departure of Superintendent Carole Smith and the announced departure of PPS’s Chief negotiator Catherine Cusimano, we believe that the IBB process must be suspended until a new District leadership is in place that can successfully carry on the process. To this end, we are meeting with the District and our facilitator on Tuesday, August 23rd to discuss next steps. We hope that the Board hires an administrative team who agrees with this collaborative approach and who will continue the process with integrity.
Expect more information after the August 23rd meeting.