Educators Seek Formal Partnership to Solve Retention, Avoid Strike
FAIRPLAY, Colo. – After a month with no formal talks, educators will get the opportunity to engage with Park County School District (PCSD) officials next week on how to improve the quality of their working conditions and retain qualified educators for Park County students.
South Park Education Association (SPEA) has confirmed they will meet with the district Oct. 9 at 4:30 p.m. A string of proposed meetings were scheduled and canceled in September. SPEA last formally met with the District, Aug. 23, though many educators addressed the Board in public comments at the school board meeting, Sep. 19.
“We are hopeful this return to a public discussion leads to real progress on issues we need to collectively solve to give our students a bright future,” said Taya Mastrobuono, an elementary school teacher and SPEA president. “We heard from our amazing community at the last board meeting. They have seen too many educators leave for other districts because they cannot survive in this community on low, non-competitive wages. Parents want the district to work with us to find common ground and come to a mutual agreement that honors and invests in educators who choose a rewarding career helping Park County students thrive.”
Mastrobuono said her team’s goals for the meeting next week are:
a. Open and transparent dialogue with the District that would give members hope an agreement can be reached without a strike;
b. A path to restoring the contract with educator input on achieving fair, professional pay and good working conditions;
c. Collaboration toward a solution for retaining and hiring caring, qualified educators who can meet student needs.
Should Park County educators be forced to strike, SPEA has arranged childcare with the Boys and Girls Club of South Park to ensure their students and families are taken care of. SPEA members are currently hosting a food and goods drive for the Boys and Girls Club and the food bank in order to help serve the community. SPEA will post updated strike information HERE for educators, media and the Park County community.
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