SPEA Still Prepared for Oct. 14 Strike But Optimistic to Resolve Crisis
FAIRPLAY, Colo. – Leaders from South Park Education Association (SPEA) and Park County School District (PCSD) met for 3.5 hours tonight, reaching consensus on many sections of a new professional agreement, but still with more issues to resolve.
The two sides agreed to reconvene in a public meeting tomorrow (Oct. 10) before the Oct. 14strike date set by SPEA.
“We are prepared to strike Monday but the dialogue tonight was exactly what we have been seeking for these many months, to have a professional voice in this district and more say in our students’ futures,” said Taya Mastrobuono, an elementary school teacher and SPEA president. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the opportunity to reach a professional agreement that we can proudly take to our members for ratification that advances student learning and educator respect.”
The tone was cordial and professional throughout the meeting, even broken up by a few lighthearted exchanges with laughter, a welcome thawing of a tense situation that had not experienced any movement since Aug. 23. The teams worked through sections including association recognition, negotiation procedures, professional staff development, and association and employee rights in the professional agreement. The working agreement now recognizes the necessity for competitive compensation to retain and attract quality staff in preamble.
“We appreciated the Board’s willingness to stay at the table tonight and treat us as valued partners,” said Mastrobuono. “We’ll need a productive conversation tomorrow to know the district is serious about ending this crisis and supporting our desire to live and work in this community for a career dedicated to helping our wonderful kids grow and thrive.”
# # #