MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – Contract negotiations between the Mount Pleasant Board of Education and the Mount Pleasant Teachers' Association have moved to a fact-finding stage after both parties failed to reach a settlement during several mediation sessions.
The Board of Education says in a letter posted on the district's website that it is confident this next step will “prove the board's position is fair, reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.” Teachers have been working without a contract for nearly two years.
“Your Board reiterates that it respects and values the efforts of all of our teachers,” the board said. “We want them to be fairly compensated and we believe that they are. This compensation, however, has to bear a stronger relation to the community’s ability to pay for it.”
The two parties reached an impasse after more than a dozen negotiating sessions and began working with a state-appointed mediator. School officials say those talks have not progressed despite several mediation sessions.
During the fact-finding stage, both sides will submit information on their positions to a neutral third party, who will issue a formal report. Information includes district financial statements and a comparison of the district's wages and benefits to surrounding districts. If both sides do not accept the report as issued, the district notes the report will become a public record as the two parties continue to negotiate.
School officials say the tax cap, in addition to unfunded state and federal mandates, has limited its financial resources.