Corning school district, teachers discuss contract
The second meeting for contract negotiations between Corning Union Elementary School District and the Corning Elementary Teachers Association will be held Thursday.
Both parties had initially postponed negotiations for the 2012-13 school year to await the vote on Proposition 30 in the November general election. It passed.
The districtalso was waiting for the results of the federal "fiscal cliff" impasse in late December.
The third pertinent piece of the puzzle was January's review the governor's proposed education funding in the 2013-14 state budget.
The first contract negotiation meeting for this school year was held on Feb. 8, when the sides exchanged proposals covering issues for this round of negotiations.
The teachers association proposal included a 6 percent salary schedule increase; an early retirement bonus of $30,000 for each eligible full-time employee who retires this year; hourly pay for unspecified adjunct duties; and increasing personal business days from three to 10 days per year.
According to the district, its cost for each 1 percent increase for all employees is approximately $97,000.
The district did not make a specific compensation proposal, but did explain that the federal MAA funding for the off-schedule bonuses, given during the past four years, has become unreliable as the future of the program is under review at the federal level.
The bonuses, given in lieu of raises, are valued at 4 to 7 percent of each qualifying employees' current salary.
With the passage of Proposition 30, the district is receiving 78 percent of the state funding it is owed, according to Penny Timboe, the district's chief business official.
The district's negotiation team said it is willing to consider an early retirement incentive program again this year, although it may not be offered in the future.
It is also proposing a new $100 per night stipend for teachers who supervise students on field trips.
New contract language to allow for the use of intern teachers in circumstances where specialized credentials are required, such as special education, so long as the teacher is committed to completing an intern program to obtain the required specialized credential, was proposed by the district negotiation team.
In preparation for Thursday's meeting the district team indicated it would "cost out" the teachers association proposals and then provide response proposals during Thursday's meeting.
A third meeting is scheduled for March 1, in the hopes the parties may reach an early settlement.
Last year the negotiating teams agreed upon one-time bonuses in lieu of salary schedule increases, Timboe said.
"That is what has occurred over the past four years," she said.