Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the school-related employee staff return to contract talks Wednesday for the first time since the district dropped its controversial pay plan on the table.
Don’t expect any quick resolutions.
Jim Ciadella, the United School Employees of Pasco lead negotiator, said his group remains leery of the administration’s proposal to generate money for bigger raises by getting middle and high school teachers to pick up an extra class period each day, potentially losing planning time.
“I don’t think there’s any ambiguity as to where we are on that,” Ciadella said, noting USEP president Don Peace has publicly told the School Board the union opposes the idea.
“I’m going to have some new ideas,” Ciadella said about his planned response to the district offer.
He didn’t provide any specifics.
The non-instructional bargaining unit was more comfortable coming back to the table than the teachers’ side, because the district’s pay proposal for that side is simpler. The team that’s negotiating for the teachers still hasn’t set a date to respond to the district’s teacher salary plan.
USEP leaders have requested several pieces of data from the district, as they look for ways to craft a counter proposal. District negotiators said they were open to ideas when they last met a month ago.
“We are still looking at a number of things,” Ciadella said. “We just received some information.”
Union officials have suggested they might be ready to talk on Oct. 23.
“We are asking for sooner,” district employee relations director Kathy Scalise said.