Midcoast-area teacher contract talks continue; still no deal

Posted Oct. 07, 2013, at 5:47 p.m.

UNION, Maine — Both sides involved in teacher contract talks for Regional School Unit 40 said that a Monday session ended with no deal.

“The Medomak Valley Educational Association is disappointed with the current turn of events,” stated Paul Forest, president of the association, in an email statement on Monday. “We made a proposal that incorporated elements from both sides of the negotiating table, but it was not accepted at this time.”

Forest said he could not provide further details on Monday’s talks.

Theodore “Tod” Brown, a member of the school board’s negotiation team, said the board also was disappointed, but progress was made toward a settlement.

The board has accepted the recommendation of a three-member fact-finding committee, Brown said.

The board and teachers have been unable to reach a contract agreement even though talks between the two sides began in January 2012. The last contract expired Aug. 31, 2012, and the faculty has been working under terms of that contract since. The two sides had earlier tried mediation but that failed to break the logjam.

The fact-finding panel called for retroactive 2.66 percent raises for teachers in 2012-13 and 2.9 percent for 2013-14. Following that, the panel recommended implementing a compensation system tied partially to student performance for 2014-15.

“As you might expect, the disagreement comes down to the amount of money and how it is distributed,” Brown said.

He said the board made a counter proposal to the teachers and that was also not accepted.

No additional negotiation sessions are scheduled. RSU 40 serves the communities of Waldoboro, Warren, Union, Friendship and Washington.

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