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Negotiations Deadlocked Between Union, District

Fact-finding next step in mediation process.

Little, if any movement has been made in negotiations between the Kings Park School District and the Kings Park Classroom Teachers Association since their contract expired last June, which has sent the process into a stage known as fact-finding.

 “The negotiation process has different steps,” said Ralph Cartisano, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Instruction and Personnel for the district. “When both sides are working through negotiaions, they declare an impasse on points where they cannot necessarily agree.”

Since mediation has been unsuccessful, Cartisano, who has been present at negotiations, says the next phase is called fact-finding, where another person is assigned to work with both parties.

Negotiations between the union and the district are not public. With fact-finding, that changes- a report from the process is made public upon completion.

“Fact finding is a non-binding process,” said Jim Pappas, president of the Kings Park Classroom Teachers Association. "It is another tool to try to get us together to come to an agreement. The fact finding report will be public, that is the difference. A person will come in and talk to both sides and take a look at neighboring districts to see what they are doing and see if one side should budge, but again it is non-binding," he said.

There are 22 people on the KPCTA's negotiating committee, which Pappas said is about 10 percent of the teaching staff.

According to Pappas, the process will take a few months and says he isn’t sure that the report will be finished by the end of the current school year.

Members of the KPCTA continue to receive the benefits and salary stipulated in the expired contract until a new compromise is reached.

“When you don’t have a contract in place, all the benefits of the old contract remain,” said Cartisano.

Since negotiations are not public, it isn’t certain what either side is asking for. Back in August of 2011, the which District Superintendent, Susan Agruso said could have saved the district $450,000.

The 2011-12 budget cuts resulted in a loss of, among other things, 23.5 teaching positions. Latest budget projections presented at last Thursday’s board of education meeting indicated another seven teaching positions may be eliminated in this budget season. The second draft of the budget showed an $80,410,526 budget, which is a budget-to-budget increase of 1.64 percent and would present a tax levy of approximately 2.48 percent.

While Pappas said he remains hopeful, he says the two sides are not close to reaching a compromise.

“Negotiations are really a compromise,” said Pappas.  “Even if we compromise more, it doesn’t mean the district would approve it. We’re not that close. We are still kind of far apart, but it’s been amicable,” he said.

Thomas March 17, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Fire all of them.
kper March 17, 2012 at 09:46 AM
while I do believe the teachers are giving our children what they need and are doing a great job I also saw some of these salaries and I'm sorry to say but I think they can hold off on increasing their income, some people in KP are out of jobs and have difficulty keeping up on bills while some not all teachers and BOE and administrators are driving in their Mercedes, BMW's, etc. In the grand scheme of things its about teaching not increasing salaries!!!
kper March 17, 2012 at 09:56 AM
While I give credit for the great work teachers provide our children I have also seen salaries of quite a few teachers and I have to say I think they can hold off on an increase. There are many families in KP that can't even afford to pay their bills or mortgage and struggle everyday to find work at their age so while some not all of the Administrators, BOE, and teachers are driving around in their luxury cars and living in nice houses let's remember this should not be about money!!
Jackie March 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM
LOL. I do have a college degree and it's "four" not "for".
Laura May 12, 2012 at 12:20 AM
I totally agree with that stamens about solar panels.

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