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SMSD, teachers fail to reach deal on teacher negotiations

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 23:35:38-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After months of contract negotiations, including an independent fact-finder, the Shawnee Mission Public School teachers union and district negotiators ended talks Tuesday without reaching a contract.

Union leaders are not happy with how talks ended.

Teachers have been pushing for months for a pay raise because of additional state funding Shawnee Mission public schools will be receiving.

Negotiations Tuesday at district headquarters ended after several hours. It was the last attempt for the teachers union to convince district negotiators that teachers should get a 1.5% pay raise. District negotiators countered with a 1% pay hike. Teachers said no.

District negotiators ended the meeting by announcing plans to take their 1%, 3-year contract proposal to the school board for a vote. The teachers union is exploring legal action.

"Here we are," Linda Sieck, NEA Shawnee Mission president, said. "We’re not focusing on children. We’re not focusing on what needs to be happening in our classroom so kids can be successful. We’re going back and spending more money on legal issues.”

District spokesperson David Smith said the next steps lay with the board.

”The law says that if you go through all the processes which is negotiations, mediation and fact finding —and another chance of negotiating—if at that point you haven’t come to agreement, then it’s up to the board to decide what the contract is.

Shawnee Mission public school teachers are working under the terms of last year’s contract, which was set to expire in June 2019.

If the Shawnee Mission School Board approves the proposed new contract, the 2,042 teachers in the district will vote on that contract.

According to Smith, teachers will have 3 choices:

  • Accept the new contract
  • Work under last year’s contract
  • Resign.

41 Action News will continue following the story and let you know when the next school board meeting will happen.