Pasco school employee contract talks near end
Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco and the Pasco school district administration head back to the table on March 6 for what both sides suggest might be the final time to discuss their 2012-13 contract.
"I believe we will finally finish negotiations Wednesday night," USEP president Lynne Webb said. District employee relations director Kevin Shibley said he also expected an end to the talks, if the union accepts the district financial offer presented two weeks ago. The district has removed furloughs from the picture, but offered no raises.
USEP officials had requested additional financial information about the district's health insurance program, such as enrollment and available reserves, leading to the talks. Webb said the details would make a difference in the union's stance, adding that she was disappointed to learn that the district had no added available money in the system.
"I can't say I'm happy," Webb said. "But I think they've been forthcoming."
Once talks conclude, the sides would have their ratification votes. The district then hopes to jump into bargaining on the 2013-14 contract soon after.
"There is an interest on the district's part to have the contract settled prior to the start of the school year" for employees and students, Shibley said.
Webb said she was interested in starting new talks soon, but did not want to get far into those until the state sets its budget plan more firmly.