Board, MCEA to meet again

Friday, October 31, 2008

Insurance, salaries, and "final provisions" are the topics that will be negotiated by the Marshall County Education Association, representing the teachers, and the Board of Education in order to finalize the teachers' contract.

When the process is completed, Marshall County's teachers will have a negotiated contract that is the product of collective bargaining for the first time ever.

It took a lawsuit by the MCEA and an order from Chancellor J. B. Cox to get both sides back to the table, but the atmosphere Wednesday afternoon was cordial.

There are 27 articles in the teachers' contract, and most of them were finalized during talks that took place between April 2006 and September 2007. The MCEA could have insisted on discussing everything all over again, but their chief negotiator, Kathy Stapleton, said, "It's not perfect, but let's not re-open anything we've already signed off on."

This leaves only what could be the most contentious articles -- insurance and salaries -- to be agreed, along with "final provisions."

When asked what those were, Louis Scheuchenzuber, one of the MCEA team, said "Whatever we want them to be!" Typically, he added, "final provisions" list what will be up for negotiation the next year.