Cedar Falls Education Association Heading to Arbitration over Contract Dispute This Week
The Cedar Falls School District in Iowa will participate in a binding arbitration hearing this week with the Cedar Falls Education Association in a dispute over terms of teachers’ contracts in the upcoming school year. The dispute concerns issues regarding salary and benefits, as well as the wording used in the present contract.
The teacher’s union originally requested a 9.53% increase in total salary and benefits package offerings in counter to the school district’s 1.95%. Following those offers, the Cedar Falls Education Association lowered their request to 4.42%; however, the district’s final offer was 4.23%.
The arbitrator overseeing the hearing will be Illinois-based Lisa Salkovitz Kohn. In addition to deliberating the terms for salary and benefits increases, she is also being asked to enforce changes in the language of the teachers’ contracts. Currently, the contract states that teachers must be present in the school building 30 minutes before and after the school day ends. The district wishes to change wording to reflect an increase in the school day by 15 minutes for students, and require teachers to be present in the building 20 minutes before students arrive and 25 minutes after they depart the premises.
Originally, the district determined to change the wording without approval from the union, stating that the topic was permissible and therefore did not need to be negotiated. However, the teacher’s union wants to negotiate the changes in wording.