The Alameda Unified School District released a statement Thursday saying it had reached an impasse in its negotiations with the district's teachers.
For its part, the Alameda Education Association posted the news on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon: "The Public Employment Relations Board has determined the existence of an impasse in AUSD's case against the teachers."
A neutral mediator will be appointed by the Public Employee Relations Board to help the two parties negotiate, says the District. (A copy of the school district's formal request for a mediator is here).
Tensions have been growing between teachers and AUSD in recent months, with teachers expressing their frustration with budgetary decisions, including the use of a certain $1.1 million of "leftover" money from the 2010-11 school year on textbooks and programs rather than salaries and benefits.
Teachers have also taken exception to the contract of District Superintendent Vital, approved in August, which includes pay increases, full health care benefits, and the possibilty of earning performance-based bonuses.
AEF President Gray Harris says that Alameda teachers lost about $1.6 million in pay last year when they agreed to take eight furlough days to help the District balance its budget prior to the , Alameda's most recent school parcel tax.
AUSD says the AEA's most recent proposal for increases in salary and health care coverage, offered on Nov. 7, would cost the District $23.5 million over the three-year term of their proposal.
In a Nov. 7, note to its membership, the AEA bargaining team wrote that they felt their offer to the school district, in which they retreated on the issue of class size (for the next three years), but asked for increases in salary and benefits, was "fair and reasonable."
"We have proposed in return a 3 percent salary increase for all unit members for the year 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15," the AEA note reads. "We also proposed that the district provide full health care benefits for all unit members for the same three-year period. Because we are asking for less than the package the superintendent received in August we feel this is fair and reasonable offer that does no harm to the financial health of the district."
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