Contract settled, Pasco teachers try to reach deal on unfair labor practices complaint
With its 2010-11 contract over but the voting, the United School Employees of Pasco has turned its attention to an outstanding unfair labor practices complaint against the district.
The USEP has complained that four high schools -- Ridgewood, Fivay, Hudson and Wesley Chapel -- created a daily "skinny" period and required teachers to instruct during that time, against their contract. USEP lawyers have stated that the practice was never negotiated, instead being implemented unilaterally. They asked for it to stop.
District lawyers responded that the schools followed the contract in creating programs to enhance student learning. Nothing in the contract guarantees teachers a five-period teaching day, they stated, and the schools were within their rights to implement "skinny" periods without negotiation.
A hearing before a state Public Employees Relations Commission officer is scheduled for the end of the month. USEP and district officials are talking settlement before the issue reaches that point.
Both sides have indicated a desire to better communicate on issues as they move toward talks on a 2011-12 contract, which will include bargaining over furloughs, among other issues.
Meanwhile, the USEP plans to count the teacher and school-related employee votes on the 2010-11 contract on Monday, in advance of the School Board's scheduled ratification vote on Tuesday. Stay tuned.