Oregon Education Association Portal:  http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/oea

DIA CONTACT: Bruce Scherer, Oregon Education Association
503-351-3181, bruce.scherer@oregoned.org

PRESS RELEASE , May 22,2012

Reynolds School Board Claims Not Credible, We Need Solutions

The school board claims they have given REA all of the language we asked for.
Not true. We wish they would listen to us about these important issues. What we
see over and over from this school board and its advisors, especially their
legal counsel Paul Dakopolis, is a lack of understanding our schools and

Often what the school board considers progress on their part is a mere
withdrawal of onerous language they put forward, and reverting to status quo
language. We need the school board to understand there are substantive problems
in our schools and working conditions that need to be addressed for staff and
students. Among the issues the school board has not acted on:

*	We asked them to set up a process to address building safety and health
concerns, and the school board members have refused.


*	We asked them to set up a process and offer training to address student and
staff safety concerns, and the school board members have refused.


*	We asked them to add language to make sure all members have a chance to use
the restroom during the work day. This lack of provision has led to serious
health issues. It needs to be in the contract (the problem exists largely
because of individual building principals). The school board members have


*	We have asked to be able to meet the wide diversity of working parent needs
with parent/teacher conference scheduling. The school board members have


*	We have asked them to keep current contract language to ensure a fair process
for layoffs and recalling employees back to work. The school board insists on
dismissing people without a fair process and with a disregard for seniority or


The school board has insisted that we meet their arbitrary financial demands for
over a year now. During this time, they refused to discuss working conditions
issues and contract language unless we agreed to their subjective number. Even
to this day, they repeat this number over and over like a mantra in public and
in the negotiations. The school board instead needs to focus on the bargaining
process, community, and school needs. Things the school board and its advisors
refuse to tell the community:

*	On Sunday, we met the school board's financial demands, and they turned their
own offer down.


*	Monday morning we met their financial demands again. Despite their clamoring
for this condition for over a year, when we gave it to them they ended the
mediation session.


*	The school board continues to cry bankruptcy while at the same time proposing
a 2012-13 budget that calls for millions in new staffing, equipment, programs,
and administrators.


In recent years we have accepted pay freezes. Additional financial concerns we
have with this school board, and why there's cause to distrust their claims:

*	For the last five years, the school board has not spent an average of $914,582
annually on PERS costs that it budgeted. Where does that $4.5 million go?


*	For the last five years, the school board has not spent an average of $834,613
on health insurance benefits that it budgeted.


*	This is a combined average of 
,749,195 per year for the last five years in
overestimated expenditures. Where does that $8.746 million go?


And the school board's approaches to finance the last few years has hit our
local economy:

*	In the 2009-10 school year the school board increased their year-end surplus
0,838,736 from the previous year. They did this while laying off 150


*	In 2010-11 the school board increased the budget surplus by another
,612,614. They then laid off 70 instructional assistants who work with students. * In the last two years, the school board has laid off 220 employees while growing its surplus of over
8 million instead of keeping local jobs and class
resources for students.


All these hits to our workload, the layoffs, and bad financial management have
happened while administrator salaries and benefits rise.

There are signs of hope. May 2012 is the first time the school board has agreed
to meet with us more than once in a calendar month during this five-month
mediation process. The May 20/21 mediation session showed the school board was
willing to put in substantive time instead of its typical 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
approach the last several months (often disappearing for hours in the middle).

We hope the school board is starting to understand there are complicated issues
to address, and that bargaining is more than slapping a number on the table and
leaving when you don't get your way.

www.facebook.com/ReynoldsEducators <http://www.facebook.com/ReynoldsEducators>

Reynolds Education Association: Joyce Rosenau, teacher, REA President

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