Most area school districts are either in the process of labor negotiations or will be in the near future, as schools across Iowa battle budget woes triggered by Governor Chet Culver's 10-percent State budget cut across the board, and declining enrollments.
To date, the Cherokee and Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn school districts have traded proposals with their collective bargaining units, and the River Valley and Galva-Holstein districts will deliver their proposals later this month.
The Aurelia School District has no collective bargaining union and Superintendent Lynn Evans said "Usually, we just sit around and hash it out."
Aurelia's future whole-grade sharing arrangement with Alta isn't in effect until the 2011 school year, and Galva-Holstein's whole-grade sharing with Schaller-Crestland (forming Ridge View) isn't in effect until July 1, 2010.
The Cherokee Education Association has proposed an estimated 4.5-percent hike in salary and insurance benefits, the major issue in its proposal. The Cherokee Board of Education's proposal reflects a freeze on the current contract with no increases.
The major issues in the MMC Teacher's Association proposal calls for a 7.5-percent hike in salary and insurance benefits, and one additional personal day per school year to be carried over to a maximum of six accruing. The current contract allows two personal days per school year with no carry over. The MMC Board of Education has proposed a freeze of the current contract.
Negotiations for the Cherokee and MMC districts are ongoing.
The River Valley District receives the River Valley Education Association's proposal Feb. 15. The G-H District receives its initial proposal from the Galva-Holstein Education Association Feb. 8. Both districts then have two weeks to respond.