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OGDEN — Ogden teachers petitioned the school board Tuesday to bring back collective bargaining and act in a "spirit of collaboration rather than conflict."
More than 2,000 people signed the petition asking the board to include teachers in contract negotiations. Doug Stephens, president of the Ogden Education Association, delivered the petition to the district offices Tuesday.
Ogden teachers have taken the board's decision to unilaterally develop a contract and force the teachers to sign or resign as a real kick in the face. Our hope is the board will see reason and return to the bargaining table with its educators.
–- Doug Stephens, OEA president
"We petition the Ogden Board of Education … to immediately reinstate bargaining rights with the educators' bargaining agent," the Ogden Education Association said in a prepared statement.
The board and OEA were unable to agree on contract terms for the 2010-11 school year, so the previous year's contract expired. The school board drafted a 2011-12 contract that it presented it to teachers June 30. Teachers were told to sign it or their positions would be listed as open for hire.
OEA leaders say they had hoped to meet with the board this summer to get 2011-12 negotiations under way but the board moved forward without them.
The union and hundreds of supporters rallied last week in Ogden to push for a return to the district's traditional contract negotiation process, where union representatives and board members work together to draft contracts related to working conditions, salaries and benefits.
"Ogden teachers have taken the board's decision to unilaterally develop a contract and force the teachers to sign or resign as a real kick in the face," said OEA president Doug Stephens. "Our hope is the board will see reason and return to the bargaining table with its educators."
The new contract lays out a performance pay component. It states teacher raises will eventually be based on the results of to-be-developed evaluations. Traditionally, raises have been based on years on the job.
The board signaled its intent to act unilaterally rather than collaboratively, which is ultimately not in the best interest of employees or students.
–- OEA statement
The board voted to continue experienced-based raises for the next two school years while it develops criteria for the performance-based model. By 2013-14, 25 percent of teacher raises will be based on performance, with the other 75 percent based on experience. The following year, 50 percent will be performance based. By 2016-17, 100 percent of raises will be contingent upon performance.
Both state and local teachers union representatives have stressed they are not opposed to a merit-based pay systems wholesale. They disagree with the board mandating the system and other contract changes without teacher input.
"The board signaled its intent to act unilaterally rather than collaboratively, which is ultimately not in the best interest of employees or students," the OEA's release states.