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School board and other officials propose negotiations

BY GRACE PATERAS | NOVEMBER 11, 2014 5:00 AM

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Iowa City School District officials discussed potential changes in teachers’ absence days, as well as salaries.

The School District and the Iowa City Education Association proposed changes and bargaining positions for the 2015-16 negotiated agreement on Monday.

Chace Ramey, the School Board’s human-resources chief, said that though the two groups had some different opinions on changes, they are working toward the same goal.

One topic the School District and the education association both discussed was the need for employee-absence days.

The association gets its proposals from teachers and contracts other districts use in Iowa.

In the association’s proposal, teachers may have the option to take up to five days of paid absence annually to attend funerals of relatives and close friends. This is compared with the only one day in the agreement from last year.

“Teachers want to be treated like professionals,” Gross said. “And [they want] the flexibility to do the job that they’re trained to do.”

The School District had other thoughts on funeral leave, however.

According to the proposal, the board would like to see a section of sick leave and one for general leave, which would include funeral absences, for paid time off.

“Banking time off as one [section] allows more flexibility,” Ramey said.

Future meetings will negotiate both proposals, and officials aim to have the agreement set by the end of winter.

Attendee Julie VanDyke said she will wait to evaluate if they are beneficial.

“Rarely is that something that plans out for workers as how it looks,” she said.

In addition to possible absence days, officials also talked about changing the rate a teacher is paid in the summer.

The education association proposed an increase to $29.15 per hour for summer wages. The current summer teacher wages are $25.


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