MVSD board reps, CIEA meet regarding negotiations

CIEA president and Clearwater Valley teacher Char McKinney explains a salary schedule at a fall 2018 negotiations meeting.

GRANGEVILLE— Mountain View School District 244 took a small step Monday in forging ahead with district-teacher negotiations.

"Thank you for meeting today -- we were asked to present you with the board's offer, but know we have no authority to make any decisions beyond presenting the offer to you," MVSD 244 trustee Rebecca Warden told the Central Idaho Education Association’s (CIEA) negotiations team Monday, March 4 at the Grangeville district office.

The team, headed by CIEA President Char McKinney, took the written offer and caucused in private for a short time before returning. McKinney expressed concern about the meeting not being a "true negotiation." The packed room of teachers and parents mumbled similar sentiments.

She presented the team's proposed salary schedule to Warden and trustee Casey Smith who said they would ask business manager Becky Hogg to run the numbers and then be in touch regarding a future meeting.

Following the short meeting, CIEA posted an e-mail on its Facebook page from board chair Lot Smith stating, in part, "We want fully open negotiations, so we will not place any limits or restrictions on how this session proceeds."

"We came to the table ready to negotiate," shrugged McKinney.

"But this is a tiny step in the right direction," said hopeful patron Dr. Kim Wolfrum.

McKinney agreed saying the salary schedule needs fixed now; however, the two sides are fairly close.

Negotiations first began for the 2018-19 school year last fall. They were first attended by a lawyer on behalf of the school board and then, when an agreement could not be reached, a federal mediator stepped in. No agreement was reached and the CIEA asked for the board to represent itself and speak to CIEA. At the February board meeting, trustees voted to do this which resulted in this March 4 meeting.

Video of the meeting as well as proposal offers are posted on CIEA's Facebook page.

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