Correcting Misinformation: Strike date, the “Comprehensive Offer,” and this Thursday.
Dear Park County Families and Community Members,
You may have noticed that today, September 17, 2019, the Park County RE-2 School District (district) issued a press release titled “District Waiting on Response to Comprehensive Offer While South Park Education Association Poised to Harm District Finances.” We would like to take some time to clarify and correct the misinformation.
It is true that more than 90% of the South Park Education Association (SPEA) members voted to authorize a strike if Park County RE-2 refused to come to an agreement with SPEA which would reinstate a contract that includes the ability to bargain salaries to retain all employees. The district has cancelled several meetings to discuss these issues with SPEA, including a meeting this past Saturday September 14, which the District had originally requested. Still, SPEA has not set a strike date, hoping civil and transparent talks will lead us to a satisfactory outcome that relieves staff of overbearing financial strain and allows them to commit to a rewarding career educating Park County students.
“Yesterday, we saw the District express concern that a strike may disrupt school on the state’s October 2nd student count date. That date is still two weeks away. The count date is irrelevant if the District does the right thing now to address the learning conditions of our students and the working conditions for its employees,” explained third grade teacher, and SPEA President Taya Mastrobuono.
The district’s “comprehensive offer” for a new Professional Agreement was unilaterally drafted by the Board of Education and the Administration with no input by the educators that work with our students every day. The Board drafted a contract that would impact students’ learning conditions and educators working conditions then demanded we, as educators, “take it or leave it” within 48 hours of the proposal. They asked every single one of our members to review and approve a new Professional Agreement with imposed changes made to every page. While we are reviewing their offer, educators that teach every day need more than 2 days to review and approve a proposal that is over 30 pages long, and we hope an open and transparent conversation with the district will follow.
We know our schools are a hub in our community. We are striving to resolve this with our district before we are forced to strike. We hope they bring a level of financial transparency to the Board of Education meeting this Thursday that will help us all come to a resolution. If you stand with us please attend – you can join us at the Administration Building for the Study Session at 4:30 or Regular Meeting, including public comment, at 6:30.
Your help is greatly appreciated,
The educators of the South Park Education Association