The Other Side of the Mediation in Tiverton
Yes, the School Committee did decide to go to arbitration — which by state law is not binding for financial issues but is binding on non-financial issues (most of the non-financials were settled long ago). We did this because it is clear to us that the NEA leadership does not live in the same fiscal reality as we do and they seem to think we can simply find money that isn’t there to pay for what they want. The last proposal they gave us last night actually asked for a greater salary percentage increase than the one they gave us earlier in the evening — which in our eyes is bad faith bargaining.
The arbitration process allows the School Committee to consider recommendations made by the arbitration panel that are related to financial issues. However, if we still believe that we can’t afford those recommendations, we can impose a contract for 1-year which does recognize
current fiscal realities.
There is one simple solution to all of this — the NEA leadership can acknowledge current reality, that funding their proposals on the backs of our property taxpayers is irrational and that we have the dollars we said we have to spend and not a penny more. Then we would be able to come to an agreement that is fair to our taxpayers, fair to our students, fair to our
parents and fair to our teachers.