The school district and the local teachers union declared an impasse during their negotiation session that officials for the school district called “adversarial.” The appointment date for a federal mediator is unknown at this time. The new contract is suppose to begin August 1, 2012.
In March, when talks commenced, the two parties did not discuss salaries. Moreover, progress has been scant on the other issues such as teacher evaluations, attendance, lesson plans, dress code, classroom discipline, and career development.
In Kansas, teacher contract negotiations are public meetings and open to the media. During the meetings, the union officials brought a video camera to the first negotiation session. They intended to record the meetings to share them with their members and possibly post on YouTube.
Officials for the Kansas school district protested the cameras at first, but then agreed after the officials brought in their own cameras to record the meeting, also. The negative tone at the start of negotiations never waned as the meetings progressed.
Through federal mediation, the school district hopes that both sides will feel free to talk specifically and openly.