Update: Pasco settles contract
Negotiators for the Pasco school district and the United School Employees of Pasco reached a tentative settlement on pay and benefits this afternoon in what district employee relations director Terry Rhum called "one last ditch effort to reach an agreement."
The deal essentially seals the status quo. Everyone's salary would remain the same as last year -- no raises, no step increases. Employees would still gain credit for an added year of service. And the district would cover all increases in health insurance benefits
"We're unhappy that the funding from the state is as short as it is and we were unable to secure steps and raises," USEP negotiator Robert Benjamin said. "But the economic reality is that would have been unreasonable at this point in time."
"We hope that this settlement will help to preserve positions," USEP negotiator Jim Ciadella added, noting that recently the membership had begun pressing for a deal that will prevent layoffs while protecting health benefits.
The School Board and the USEP membership still must ratify the agreement. The votes are expected in January. See also our earlier post on the Pasco negotiations.