Tentative agreement reached in Douglas County School District

Some two years after negotiations began and after both sides filed complaints, the Douglas County School District and the teachers' association have come to a tentative agreement in contract negotiations.

"I'm optimistic," said John Soderman, the personnel representative for the district. "I'll be glad to have negotiations behind us."

Negotiations began in March of 1998 and the tentative agreement was approved by both sides Monday. The next step is ratification.

A meeting is set for Sept. 6 at the CVIC Hall in Minden for the teachers to officially ratify the agreement. It will then be presented to the school board for ratification.

The association originally asked for a 4.7 percent salary increase. In the agreement, the teachers shrank their request to a 1 percent increase based on the 1998-1999 salary schedule and a 1 percent bonus on the 2000-2001 schedule for all contracted, certified teachers employed as of Sept. 1 of this year.

A 1 percent increase would apply to all stipend salaries as well.

The district also agreed to accept the association's request for 15 days of sick leave and to absorb insurance rate increases for the 2000-2001 school year.

In return, the association agreed that an administrator has the right to request verification when granting sick leave. Maternity leave was set at six weeks for a normal birth and eight weeks for a caesarean delivery.

The association also accepted the district's proposal to allow a six-week window for teacher position transfers.

The negotiations for the 1998-1999 contract agreement came to a standstill last December when the district filed a complaint with the Fair Labor Practice Board, saying the association did not follow proper procedure when requesting an arbitrator.

The association responded that proper procedure had been followed and filed a counter suit.

With the agreement, both suits will be dropped.

"The Douglas County School District is satisfied with the results of this challenging process and looks forward to contract ratification," said Maggie Allen, communications coordinator for the district.


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