Westlake Schools have issued a press release in response to the call by the Westlake Teachers Association to strike after the Board implemented its ‘Last Best Offer’ to teachers Monday night.
Here is the release:
‘Teachers Union Votes to Strike
‘Summer Classes and Programs to Continue as Planned
‘We are deeply disappointed that the teachers union issued a notice to go on strike. After one full year of negotiation and numerous proposals back and forth, we made a fair offer to the teachers union.
‘Our last best offer included salary increases every year and healthcare changes that will actually decrease the contributions that teachers and the district currently pay. The offer also eliminated a cash reimbursement for working spouses of employees that take health insurance provided by the spouse’s employer. In contrast, the teachers union’s last proposal includes “step” raises every year, and an additional raise next year (2016-2017) amounting to a 5% increase in one year alone. Their counter proposal spends $1.7M more than our last best offer, accelerating our deficit spending. That is unsustainable considering our budget and three failed levy attempts.
The Westlake Schools administrative team is working diligently to ensure that there is no gap in programs or classes that have already started for the summer. Our sincere hope is that the teachers that agreed to work this summer will honor that contract, but in the event that they do not, we will find experienced, qualified coverage. We will reach out to individual parents and groups to inform them of the transition plans, as necessary.
‘We sincerely hope that the union will reconsider their position so we can focus on planning our next school year. In the meantime, we will keep you informed of developments.’