WCSD teacher contract talks continue at school board

Warren County School District support staff has a new contract, but negotiations between the school board and the teachers union continue.

Like the support staff contract approved by the board on Monday, the teacher contract expired June 30.

There have been a number of negotiating sessions between the two groups since Dec. 18, the last being held on July 17, according to Warren County Education Association counsel Marcus Schlegel. The next session is set for Oct. 30.

“Our WCEA negotiations committee members have been working very hard to find a suitable compromise that will allow our Warren County schools to compete for the most talented new teachers and retain the experienced teachers we have,” Schlegel said Tuesday. “We believe that for Warren County to thrive economically, we must provide schools that bring the most value to the families in our community and offer employers the kind of well-educated workforce they need.”

“The board will continue to work diligently on teacher negotiations, which also remain ongoing,” according to a Monday release from the board. “The board remains hopeful it also will be able to reach an agreement with that group soon, and that the parties there will find some compromise that likewise is beneficial to district teachers, students and taxpayers alike.”

In that release, the board said, “Striking a balance on issues like wages and health insurance made it possible to reach this (support staff) deal.”

The board said it “entered the (support staff negotiation) process desiring to find a fair compromise, though very aware of the district’s economic constraints like the skyrocketing cost of pension benefits and the lack of substantial increases in state subsidy.”