FARMINGTON — It appears an impasse in negotiations between Central Consolidated School District officials and a union representing teachers and other workers could result in no raises for some district employees.
CCSD spokesman James Preminger said the Central Consolidated Educators Association failed to meet a Friday deadline to respond to a collective bargaining offer, effectively turning down 3-percent raises for hourly union employees, including maintenance workers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and custodians, and a 4.4-percent salary increases for teachers.
Preminger said the district was forced to revert to an earlier, less substantial offer to meet a deadline to file salary paperwork with the New Mexico Public Education Department for the upcoming school year.
The offer submitted to the state education department includes a 3.4-percent salary increase for teachers and a 3-percent salary increase for non-union hourly employees including human resources staff, payroll staff, finance staff, and district secretaries.
If that offer stands, hourly union employees will not receive raises.
"We have to set salary schedules for the year and we hoped the union would accept the offer by noon on Friday but they did not accept it," Preminger said.
Union president Mel Sharp said the district's statement was misleading and incomplete regarding the labor negotiations, stating they did not "reject" or "turn down" raises.
The district and the union reached an impasse during the collective bargaining agreement discussions and were in the middle of a mediation session when the July 18 deadline occurred.
Sharp said the district imposed the deadline in the middle of a mediation session as the union fought to make sure more than a select group of employees received salary increases.
"All employees should get the raise, not a select group," Sharp said.
Sharp said an email received from the district on July 16 contained an offer with salary increases for some union hourly employees but the offer was not considered since it was not made during official mediation sessions.
"I didn't consider it an offer, I considered it an email," Sharp said.