Changes to state bargaining law play role in Belmond-Klemme teacher talks | Education

Bizar Male

But he said when the district left in all the permissive bargaining items the last two times contracts were debated, negotiations were contentious.

Instead, Frazier said, the district created a handbook and put all the permissive bargaining items – pay scale steps and lanes, overtime, holidays and personal time – into it. And what is in there is not substantively different from what the union was given in its last contract, he said.

Frazier also disputes the notion that removing the permissible bargaining items from the district’s proposal is uncommon.

He cited the West Hancock School District as an example. Starting with its first contract after the code was changed, West Hancock removed all its permissible bargaining items from its negotiations, said Superintendent Wayne Kronemann.

It wasn’t a negotiating tactic, Kronemann said. It was for the sake of expediency. West Hancock also put all the permissible items into a handbook, and some things have been included by the district that teachers did not have before, he said.

“Teachers were leery at first,” Kronemann said. “They were concerned that we were taking a bunch of things out, away from them. But they eventually saw what we were doing.”

Kronemann also noted that his district does still discuss some of those items in negotiations as needed, though.

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