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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Contract mediator brought back

Friday, October 5, 2007

Vicki Martin has been here before.

Martin, current Director of Conciliation Services for the Indiana Education Employee Relations Board, was the original mediator for Clay Community Schools when contract bargaining began.

After she initially worked with the school corporation and the teachers association, the sides decided to bargain again.

When they reached an impasse in the bargaining, they went to a second mediator, and eventually a fact finder.

"What I'm trying to do right now is assess both sides," Martin said about rejoining the negotiations.

She has met privately with both sides to be updated on the issues.

Martin said there have been no negotiations scheduled, because "going back to the table with no progress can be counter-productive."

She said the problem is every year that a contract goes unsettled new problems pop up.

Issues in Clay County have ranged from scheduling to insurance.

Budgeting is also a problem.

Currently, the bargaining is being done with projected funding.

Martin feels the issue on one side is bargaining from a best-case scenario, and the other side is bargaining from a worst-case scenario.

"When it has gone on this long, the last thing we want to do is have meetings that frustrate people," Martin said.

Mediation is a confidential process and Martin was unable to comment specifically on the proceedings.

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Binding arbitration seems the obvious and easy answer to this mess.

Why does the school board not want to agree to binding arbitration?

Probably because they know they really have the money to take care of this problem and the mediator would easily rule that way.

-- Posted by Bruther on Mon, Oct 8, 2007, at 8:50 PM

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