Carson City School Board to vote on staff contracts | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City School Board to vote on staff contracts

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer

Two contracts are coming before the Carson City School Board tonight for possible action.

The first is a contract with the classified association, a group of 370 employees representing janitors, kitchen staff, receptionists and others in the Carson City School District.

The other contract up for approval is the nurse’s union agreement, which represents 13 staff.

“Salary is always a topic, as are working conditions and benefits,” said Richard Stokes, associate superintendent of human resources. “Those are always items that we address.”

The contract with the classified employees has been approved by that group, but the contract with the nurse’s union was waiting for approval Monday, a day when most of the staff returned to work.

If the group does not approve negotiated terms by tonight’s meeting, the item will be removed from the school board agenda.

“The actual work that’s done during negotiations has to be approved by both parties,” Stokes said.

“Generally, the employee group will ratify the contract. The next part of the process is the school board of trustees ratifies the contract.”

The two contracts will be discussed in a closed session before the meeting begins at 7 p.m. and then again when they come up for discussion during the public meeting.

If approved, the details of the contracts will be available. Also coming before the board in a future meeting will be a re-negotiated teachers contract.

“We have already reached a tentative agreement,” said Stokes. “Because the bulk of their members are back at work (Monday), they have not had a chance to have their ratification meeting. We’re hoping that happens in time for the next school board meeting. They still have their work to do to have their body of members accept that work that was done at the bargaining table.”

Instead of using the traditional bargaining process during teachers negotiations, the district used a method called interest-based bargaining available through Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services free of charge. The federal organization helps labor and management reach mutual agreements.

“I think the session this year, especially this year, was very collaborative and created a good working atmosphere,” Stokes said. “It ended up being a process that was mutually agreeable.”

The classified employees’ and nurses’ contracts were negotiated under traditional bargaining.

“Our other sessions were very amicable and allowed us to jointly discuss our issues,” Stokes said. “We were pleased in general with the way they went.”

Also coming before the board in the future is the administrators’ contract. Stokes described it as being it in the beginning of the process.

“The sooner the better” (when it comes before the board), he said. “But again, we’re in the very early stages.”

n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

If you go

What:

Carson City School Board meeting

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Sierra Room of the

Community Center, 851 E. William St.