Jeffrey D Allred, KSL, FIle

Salt Lake teachers association, school district reach tentative deal with help of mediator

By Marjorie Cortez, KSL | Posted - Jul 10th, 2019 @ 7:06pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake teachers association and the school district reached a tentative working agreement after negotiation teams met with a federal mediator for several hours Wednesday.

Details of this tentative deal will be released on Aug. 7 once it has been shared with the Salt Lake City Board of Education and the Salt Lake Education Association executive board, according to a statement from the school district.

The agreement would need to be ratified by a majority vote of association members in late August. If that occurs, it must also be approved by the school board. The board's first scheduled meeting after the planned association vote is Sept. 3.

The district expressed gratitude to negotiation teams and the federal mediator "for their willingness to work together in reaching this tentative agreement."

Salt Lake Education Association President James Tolber would not comment on specific details of the agreement but said the mediation involved "a lot of back and forth. We're going to present it to our members for a vote and let them decide. It will ultimately be up to them what they want to do."

A jointly selected mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service's Las Vegas office met with teacher association and district representatives starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday. The school district announced the tentative agreement by email about 12:45 p.m.

A month ago, an impasse was declared after the parties could not reach agreement on the salary schedule and other issues. They mutually agreed to mediation.

The district's bargaining team made three earlier proposals to the education association team, all of which were rejected, according to the school district.

The final offer included at least a 6 percent pay raise from the previous year and $50,100 starting pay for teachers, slightly more than the $50,000 offered by Canyons and Murray school districts, second only to Park City School District.

However, the proposal also included a single-lane salary schedule, which the association said would result in a loss of more than $125,000 in earnings over a 30-year career. It was a major sticking point in the stalled talks, officials said.

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