Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Mason teachers reject contract offer




By Sue Kiesewetter and Sarah Buehrle
Enquirer contributors

        MASON — Teachers have overwhelmingly rejected a tentative contract agreement, sending negotiators for the Mason Board of Education and the Mason Education Association back to the bargaining table.

        Friday's vote was the second time the MEA rejected a proposed three-year contract, said Jerry Schrock, an eighth-grade teacher and bargaining team member.

        Neither Mr. Schrock nor spokesmen for the district would release details of the vote, proposed contract or points of disagreement.

        “Cooler heads are still prevailing,” Mr. Schrock said. “The teachers did not like the agreement we presented them, that's all. We still have a collaborative attitude among the bargaining teams.”

        Mr. Schrock said Monday that both sides have agreed to reopen negotiations but have not set a date.

        Teachers are working under the two-year contract that expired at the end of June, Mr. Schrock said.

        Bargaining began in May and an impasse was declared earlier this summer. Both sides have worked with mediators.

        “I'm not worried,” said Mason Board of Education member David Lenert. “Historically, we have had a good working relationship with teachers and I expect it will continue. I think everyone is committed to working this out.”

        There are 468 teachers in the fast-growing district. All but a dozen are MEA members, Mr. Schrock said. About 83 percent of the teaching staff has been hired in the last five years, said Craig Ullery, district human resource director.

       



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