Pasco School Board heads behind closed doors to talk contract terms
Representatives of the United School Employees of Pasco and the Pasco School Board might have reached a tentative contract agreement. But until members ratify the deal, the terms are still up for conversation.
Today, the Pasco School Board has scheduled an executive session to go over some final points with staff before it votes on the deal.
No one expects the board to renege on the settlement that its negotiating team arrived at after months of talks. But it still has one big financial cloud looming over the horizon with relation to the contract. And that's what board members are likely to discuss behind closed doors. (We say "likely" because no one will reveal the exact details of the agenda other than to say it's about negotiations.)
The language in question involves furlough days and unspent funds. The USEP has been hammering the district for weeks to make sure that it follows this agreement: "The Board and Union also agree that they will regularly meet to continuously review the financial condition of the District, including potential savings from a variety of sources including but not limited to health insurance utilization, to determine if these furlough days can be reimbursed to employees. It is not intended that savings from these furlough days be set aside to offset any anticipated shortfall for the 2012-2013 school year."
That amount could run into the millions for the district, and put a few bucks back into employees' pockets at year end. Board members have been fretting that they face another multimillion-dollar shortfall for 2012-13. The contract terms talk about intentions and reviews, but make no guarantees. It might be a while before we know ther results of the board's private session.
But we'll keep asking.