The Meridian School board voted Monday to end contract negotiations with the Meridian Education Association (MEA.) The Idaho Statesman reports the district will issue teacher contracts based on its last offer.
“Meridian trustees shut the door on future negotiations Monday after talks that ended Friday failed to close a $4 million gap, coming largely from a demand for more pay increases based on a teachers' length of service. Teachers did make nearly $8 million in concessions.” – Idaho Statesman
A new Idaho law requires districts to issue contracts by July 1. Negotiations can continue after that, and those contracts can be changed, but an opinion from Idaho’s attorney general says districts can impose their last offers if negotiations reach an impasse.
In an e-mail, MEA President Luke Franklin said the district has misconstrued the opinion to fit its purposes. He says the union was blindsided by the board’s decision.
“Given the fact that the Meridian Education Association made significant concessions as recently as Friday and that there are proposals still on the table, we had certainly anticipated ongoing negotiations,” Franklin said.
He also expressed hope the district will reconsider and continue bargaining.
The Statesman reports that many other large districts failed to reach agreements before July 1, but will continue negotiations.
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