Park County Teachers Authorize Strike, Seek More Substantial Raises Than Offered

Park County Teachers Authorize Strike, Seek More Substantial Raises Than Offered was created by Mountain-News-Events

The teachers union in the Park County School District Re-2 - Fairplay has voted to authorize a strike.
Park County Teachers Authorize Strike, Seek More Substantial Raises Than District Offers
By Natalia V. Navarro, CPR News | September 5, 2019

More than 90 percent of South Park Education Association members voted Wednesday to indicate they'd be willing to strike. The strike would take effect if the Park County School District doesn't return to the negotiating table with an acceptable salary offer, according to union officials.

During eight and 10 hour negotiating sessions in August, the two sides agreed on most points, including a salary negotiation process for the 2020-2021 school year, but not on the salary increase.

Freeman said the union presented their request for raises and the district did not provide a counteroffer by the union deadline of Aug. 28.

The Park County School District already instituted a 6.5 percent increase to the base salary for this school year, district officials said in an emailed statement.

The Park County School District Re-2 Fairplay Press Release
August 28, 2019

Park County teachers vote to strike for better pay
By Jessica Porter, Denver Channel 7 | Sep 05, 2019

FAIRPLAY, Colo. -- Park County RE-2 teachers voted to strike for better pay Wednesday.

Teachers say they are working second jobs and living paycheck-to-paycheck.

“They have to make decisions on milk or eggs,” South Park Education Association (SPEA) President Taya Mastrobuono told Denver7.

The District has 500 students and says they are “not sitting on vast cash overages.” It says teachers did get a 6.5% salary increase this school year.

But teachers say it’s misleading because it didn’t apply to all teachers.

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05 Sep 2019 13:39 #1

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Park County teachers to strike Monday, Summit County teachers union expresses solidarity
Deepan Dutta, Summit Daily This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | October 12, 2019

The South Park Education Association, the union representing teachers working in the Park County School District, have announced that they will strike beginning Monday, Oct. 14, after talks with the district broke down Thursday night. The strike was announced two weeks ago amid failed negotiations for a new professional agreement between the sides.

Barring any last-minute breakthroughs in negotiations, which reached a sticking point on current year pay, the teachers of the South Park Education Association will strike beginning Monday.

From its end, the Park County School District Board of Directors said in its latest media release that it felt its request for a new professional agreement to be in place before discussions on current year pay can begin was a reasonable one.

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13 Oct 2019 15:15 #2

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Press Release from South Park Education Association:

Educators Prepared to Stand Up for Students’ Futures Should Oct. 9 Talks Fail

FAIRPLAY, Colo. – Educators in Park County School District (PCSD) RE-2 are moving closer to being the third local education association to strike in the last 18 months. South Park Education Association (SPEA) leaders announced today that educators are prepared to leave their classrooms, Oct. 14, to strike for the schools their students deserve.

“We have exercised great restraint since our members first voted to strike one month ago, September 4, always hopeful for a resolution. SPEA wants to partner with the District to improve the quality of our students’ learning conditions and our working conditions so we can retain qualified educators for Park County students. But the District must understand our patience is nearly exhausted,” said Taya Mastrobuono, an elementary school teacher and SPEA president.

Educators are eager to meet with PCSD, Oct. 9 at 4:30 p.m., a public meeting agreed to by both sides. But after a string of meetings were scheduled and canceled by PCSD last month, Mastrobuono isn’t sure if this week’s meeting won’t meet the same fate.

“SPEA members are skeptical at best that Wednesday’s meeting will be productive, if it happens at all,” said Mastrobuono. “We reached a decision together that it is necessary to announce our strike date before the scheduled Wednesday meeting to put the District on notice that its stalling tactics do not work from this point forward.”

SPEA last formally met with PCSD officials, Aug. 23. Mastrobuono restated her team’s goals for the Oct. 9 meeting:

a. Open and transparent dialogue with the District that would give members hope an agreement can be reached without a strike;

b. A path to restoring the contract with educator input on achieving fair, professional pay and good working conditions;

c. Collaboration toward a solution for retaining and hiring caring, qualified educators who can meet student needs.

“Our students need consistent educators to help them grow and thrive. If the District comes to the table Wednesday ready to collaborate on a fair agreement that ends our educator retention crisis, members could take action October 14 to ratify a contract instead of taking a different action with picket signs. The District will hear educator voice one way or the other. We prefer our voice is heard in a meeting room and not from the street, but we are prepared for either scenario.”

Should Park County educators be forced to strike, SPEA has arranged childcare with the Boys and Girls Club of South Park to ensure their students and families are taken care of. SPEA members are currently hosting a food and goods drive for the Boys and Girls Club and the food bank in order to help serve the community. SPEA will post updated strike information HERE for educators, media and the Park County community.

# # #

speastrong.com/2019/10/07/park-county-ed...-oct-14-strike-date/
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13 Oct 2019 15:19 #3

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Statement from Park County Re-2 School District Board of Directors:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2019
Contact: Kim H. Bundgaard, M.Ed., President, Board of Directors
Park County School Dist. RE-2 (719) 836-3111
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

District Immediately Responds to Association’s Counterproposal

Fairplay, Colorado –The Park County School District RE-2 (the “District”) and the South Park Education Association (“SPEA” or “Association”) continued progress last week towards reaching an agreement for a New Professional Agreement. Such an agreement would again recognize SPEA as the bargaining unit for teachers and special service providers, and allow the parties to have an agreement in place through June 30, 2021.

After the District provided its initial proposal to SPEA on September 10, 2019, the District received a response from the Association on October 2, 2019. Upon receipt, the District immediately reviewed the proposal. A draft of the New Professional Agreement with comments was provided to SPEA today. This will allow the Association to have time to review the document prior to the scheduled October 9, 2019 meeting.

The District remains hopeful that the meeting on Wednesday will allow the parties to finalize the document so that it can be ratified and approved later this month.

# # # # #

www.parkcountyre2.org/cms/lib/CO02201408...%2010%207%202019.pdf
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13 Oct 2019 15:21 #4

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SPEA Holds Press Conference Today, Continues Strike Tomorrow
October 14, 2019

The bargaining team of the South Park Education Association will hold a press conference today to update the media and community after the first day of the educator strike. The event will start at 4:00 p.m. in front of the Park County School District administration building on 6th Street in Fairplay, and will be streamed live at facebook.com/SouthParkEA/. Link to video

The bargaining team members will also use the opportunity to refute falsehoods published by the District this morning. SPEA will maintain the District knew about the strike a week in advance, communicated with SPEA this weekend on actions the District could take to avoid the strike, and understands compensation is an integral part of any professional agreement that will give educators a voice in retaining and attracting good educators for Park County students.

“Educators felt very supported today by community members who value our contributions and want to see the District return to public discussions with SPEA to end this teacher retention crisis,” said Taya Mastrobuono, an elementary school teacher and president of the South Park Education Association. “The District, though, only sought to aggravate and mislead in its public comments, leading us to believe it wants no part in resolving the crisis through a good faith partnership with its educators.”

SPEA members will continue the strike tomorrow, Oct. 15, with picketing throughout the day beginning at 7:00 a.m. at the Park County Schools Building. More information on strike logistics can be found at speastrong.com.

SPEA will continue the food and goods drive and the childcare arranged with the Boys and Girls Club of South Park for students and families in need. Childcare is available at 360 9th Street, Fairplay, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Families can pick up donated food at goods at the Fairplay Fire Station at 21455 U.S. Highway 285, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

“We are ready for another day, and possibly many more days, of standing up for our rights and our students’ futures,” said Mastrobuono. “Our door is open to the District whenever and wherever it wants to meet with us. Striking is completely avoidable if the District finds the will to compromise, and yet completely necessary if District expects us bow down and accept its mandates.”

SPEA will follow with another release if the District takes any action today/tonight that averts a strike.

speastrong.com/2019/10/14/spea-holds-pre...ues-strike-tomorrow/
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15 Oct 2019 04:48 #5

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Also from SPEA:

Child Care Information
If your family is affected by the strike, you can get childcare at the Boys and Girls Club from 7:45am till 5pm. If you require after school childcare, they can accommodate kids until 6:30pm, if prearranged. Fees are $10/day, $35/month. Assistance scholarships are available to families with a household income of $75,000 /year or less. But the bottom line is that no child will be turned away unless they are at capacity; SPEA will pick up fees for any family in extreme need. Please go to the Boys and Girls Club website bgchr.co/to find registration paperwork and scholarship information.

Food Bank
If you need access to the Food Bank, it is located at the Fairplay Fire Station, off Highway 285: 21455 US Hwy 285, Fairplay, CO 80440. It will be open from 8am – 5pm.

Strike Fund
Interested in making a pledge to the SPEA strike fund? The money raised will support striking educators who will be without income for the duration of a strike. Make a pledge now. Reach out to Misty Hart (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with any questions.

speastrong.com/strike-updates/
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15 Oct 2019 04:59 #6

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Teachers’ strike continues for second day in Park County
This is the third teacher strike in Colorado in the last 18 months
The Associated Press, via The Colorado Sun | Published on Oct 15, 2019

Park County Teachers Strike Continues
KOA News Radio | Oct 15, 2019

Park County teachers are striking for the second straight day as they ask for a pay increase while the board says they don't think the request is feasible. We talk with teacher Doug Freeman, a amember of the South Park Education Association and a member of the negotiating team.

Audio interview at koacolorado.iheart.com/featured/colorado...rs-strike-continues/

SPEA Strike Update October 15, 2019
Posted October 16, 2019

Dear Park County Families and Community Members,

WE HAVE BIG NEWS FOR TOMORROW: Joe Torrez will meet with us at the bargaining table around 11 am. We need YOU to help us keep the energy up and show the district that you value our voices.

We need you on the picket line at 7am. At 7:30, there will be a “dump truck jamboree”, a parent lunch at the Administration Building at 11:30, and pumpkin painting at the town park off Main Street after lunch. Bring your kiddos!

A tremendous and heart-felt thank you to the parents and community members who stood with us again today. We especially want to thank our students and student council representatives who showed true leadership by standing with us and for their school. A special thank you to Terry from the Fairplay Depot for being a wonderful host to us, the Soup Pot for graciously providing, perhaps, the best Tomato Basil soup in the world, and our community who brought us donuts, sandwiches, and tamales from Dorothy’s Tamales.

As a reminder, if your family is affected by the strike and you need child care or food, please go to the Strike Update page on the SPEAstrong website for more information.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and at our website for all the latest developments.

See you tomorrow!

Thank you for your continued love and support,
The educators of the South Park Education Association


An older article, but with a little more background on this strike:
Park County teachers plan to strike Monday after negotiations break down
The union received legal clearance to strike from the state Department of Labor and Employment in late September and set an official strike date of Oct. 14
By Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado, via The Colorado Sun | Published on Oct 13, 2019

District and union representatives met Wednesday and Thursday, the first formal talks since Aug. 23. Both sides characterized Wednesday’s meeting, which focused on various aspects of the contract or professional agreement, as productive. On Thursday, union members pushed to return to the question of salaries, which the district does not want to debate. And that’s where things ended.

The union has worked out an agreement with the local Boys and Girls Club to care for children whose parents don’t want to send them to school during the strike and collected food donations to provide meals. Teachers plan to rotate between the picket line and the Boys and Girls Club. The state teachers union, the Colorado Education Association, is collecting money for a strike fund.

Read more at chalkbeat.org

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16 Oct 2019 09:27 #7

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Replied by Salado on topic Park County Teachers Authorize Strike, Seek More Substantial Raises Than Offered

Salado stands with SPEA!
It is time to make a change for our children and community.
Any member of SPEA receives 15% off a meal for the duration of this strike.
Stay strong!
saladorestaurant.com/
Eclectic Southwest Cuisine
Lunch • Dinner
Open Daily 11am - 9pm
Call us: (719) 836-7031
Like Us on Facebook!
16 Oct 2019 15:38 #8

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From Cristina Ruiz Burk on our Facebook Page:

I’m a Park County teacher and I am here with our teachers, students and many parents. Our Superintendent, Joe Torrez cancelled a negotiation meeting that was scheduled for 11:00. We the teachers are doing everything possible to sit down with the board to negotiate a return to our classes but again, they cancelled. We really need the community’s help right now, our students need you.

We do have a mediator coming up from Denver now so hopefully progress will be made.


Posted on SPEA's Facebook Page today:

STRIKE UPDATE 5 hours ago: We attempted to enter the building to meet with the board or the Superintendent for a 12:15 meeting we were told we had but were asked to leave as “there is no meeting.”

STRIKE UPDATE 2 hours ago: we’re currently outside the district admin building waiting for a public bargaining session with a federal mediator.

15min ago: We are here! We have a long way to go, but the district is at the table and we are starting the work to come to an agreement for our students’ futures. #SPEAstrong #redfored #WeAreParkCounty #southpark

No new information shared on Park County RE-2 School District's website or Facebook Page.
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Last edit: 16 Oct 2019 17:31 by Mountain-News-Events.
16 Oct 2019 17:25 #9

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Latest posts from South Park Education Association:

Park County Educators Will Strike into a Second Week
October 21, 2019

Community Enraged by Lack of District Financial Transparency, Accountability
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FAIRPLAY, Colo. – The South Park Education Association unanimously decided today to continue striking for their students’ futures tomorrow (Oct. 21). Picketing will start at the District administration building at 7 a.m.

“No educator wants to be on strike, but we care too much about the future of this District to cave into the demands of a lame-duck school board majority. Their days are numbered and they should step down now to let real leaders, who care about our educators and students, step in and make impactful decisions about our long-term future,” said SPEA President Taya Mastrobuono, an elementary school teacher.

Monday will be the eighth day of SPEA’s strike against the Park County School District. The vote at the member meeting follows resounding community scorn for the District’s lack of transparency at Thursday’s public school board meeting, SPEA’s unanimous rejection yesterday of the District’s inadequate “take it or leave it” offer, and a spirited community meeting today showing overwhelming support for Park County educators.

“From the very beginning, our dispute with PCSD is rooted in giving educators a voice in District decisions and valuing us with working conditions that will retain and attract quality educators who love our students. We picket with these same concerns tomorrow,” Mastrobuono added. “The District must come back to the table immediately or change leadership so we can bargain with people who want to resolve this crisis.”

SPEA made significant compromises in bargaining last week, primarily asking the District agree to a neutral, third-party evaluation of PCSD finances and to return to the table with the updated facts and figures. The District adamantly refused to have its finances inspected to open up transparent dialogue on educator compensation.

A membership petition is collecting signatures to demand Superintendent Joe Torrez’s resignation after a unanimous vote of “no confidence” by the bargaining unit. Mastrobuono reiterated the demand for Board President Kim Bundgaard and Board Directors Jan Toyne and Leslie Rhyner to resign now.

SPEA will continue the food and goods drive and the childcare arranged with the Boys and Girls Club of South Park for students and families in need. Childcare is available at 360 9th Street, Fairplay, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Families can pick up donated food at goods at the Fairplay Fire Station from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

SPEA will follow with another release if the District takes any action to end the strike before 7 a.m. Monday. SPEA will post updated strike information HERE and on Facebook for educators, media and the Park County community.

# # #
speastrong.com/2019/10/21/park-county-ed...-into-a-second-week/

Community Forum - Video

Strike Update October 19, 2019 (again)
October 20, 2019

South Park Education Association’s bargaining team members prepared a presentation today for SPEA members of the “take it or leave it” offer made last night by the Park County School District. After reviewing both SPEA and PCSD proposals, members in a straw poll vote unanimously rejected the District’s counter offer. A side by side review can be found at speastrong.com.

SPEA will hold a community meeting tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Fairplay Fire Station (21455 U.S. Highway 285). “The community was very vocal at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting that they want transparency. We want them to feel informed of what has happened over the last few days,” said Taya Mastrobuono, elementary school teacher and SPEA president.

The members also started a petition demanding Superintendent Joe Torrez resign after a unanimous vote of “no confidence” by the bargaining unit. Additionally, they demand Board President Kim Bundgaard and Board Directors Jan Toyne and Leslie Rhyner resign immediately and seat new board members in an emergency meeting to be scheduled as early as Monday.

“We are prepared to continue to stand up for our rights and our students’ futures for as long as it takes,” said Mastrobuono. “Our door is open to the District whenever and wherever it wants to meet with us. Striking is completely avoidable if the District finds the will to compromise, and yet completely necessary if the District expects us to bow down and accept its mandates.”

SPEA continues the food and goods drive at the Fairplay Fire Station. Families can pick up donated food and goods from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The childcare arranged with the Boys and Girls Club of South Park for students and families in need will resume Monday at 360 9th Street, Fairplay, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. SPEA will post updated strike information HERE and on Facebook for educators, media and the Park County community.

Finally, as a reminder, if your family is affected by the strike and you need child care or food, please go to the Strike Update page on the SPEAstrong website for more information.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and at our website for all the latest developments.

Thank you for your continued love and support,
The educators of the South Park Education Association

Association vs. District Proposals – October 19, 2019

Strike Update 10.19.19

Park County Community Calls on School Board Members to Step Down
October 18, 2019

Strike Update October 17, 2019
October 17, 2019
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20 Oct 2019 21:20 #10

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