Pasco teachers declare impasse in negotiations
Two weeks before the superintendent's election, the United School Employees of Pasco has notified the Public Employee Relations Commission that it can't reach an agreement with the administration over this year's contract. It wants a special magistrate to help resolve matters.
"I think the superintendent's unwillingness to make good on her promises to guarantee employee benefits and to continually delay financial negotiations is disingenuous at best," USEP president Lynne Webb said in a news release.
Webb noted that that contract talks were scheduled to resume Wednesday, but superintendent Heather Fiorentino's team told the USEP that the earliest the district would return to the table is Oct. 31, after official student counts are reported to the state.
"These are the district's own numbers," Webb said. "Surely the district must have some confidence in its ability to count heads and can come close enough to make an initial response to USEP's economic proposal."
Fiorentino told the Gradebook she was surprised to receive written notices that the union had declared an impasse after returning from a staff meeting.
"I thought we had at least agreed to talk and disagree," Fiorentino said, suggesting the timing might have something to do with the upcoming election.
The USEP PAC has endorsed challenger Stephen Donaldson against Fiorentino.