By Erica Shook
Are you aware that McPherson teachers have been working all of this school year without a new contract? The negotiations teams for the McPherson Education Association and the Board of Education have spent many hours working on this but have been unable to come to an agreement. Fact-finding is the final step in this process. A Fact Finder has been assigned to listen to both sides and make a non-binding ruling.
Here is a general timeline/outline of the fact-finding process:
- The fact-finding hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 11, at 6 p.m. at the Community Building. This is a public hearing, and teachers and the public are encouraged to attend.
- Our task is to gather information and make a presentation to the fact-finder at the hearing. We are attempting to prove that the district has additional money available to put toward teacher salaries. We have a team of KNEA Uniserv directors assisting us.
- The BOE/Central Office will also be making a presentation at the hearing in an attempt to show there is not additional money available. An attorney with the Kansas Association of School Boards is assisting the district through this process.
- MEA and the BOE will exchange information one week prior to the hearing.
- Within 10 days following the hearing, the fact-finder will provide us with a report and recommendations. At that point, the MEA and BOE negotiations teams will meet again in an attempt to settle on a contract.