Mabton teachers at loggerheads with school administrators

MABTON - Mabton teachers have been working without contracts since they voted down a tentative agreement in September.

According to Ted Raihl, head negotiator for the Mabton Education Association, both sides had reached a tentative agreement and it was put forth to members for a radification vote, which failed by a little more than 2-1 margin, he said.

At this past Monday night's regularly scheduled school board meeting, Mabton Education Association member and science teacher Nick Sustaita asked the school board for respectful, good faith bargaining.

Raihl said that this is because when the school district is negotiating, "they're still acting in a supervisory role.

"They've issued reprimands to members of the bargaining team or the bargaining team as a whole, which goes against the spirit of negotiations," Raihl said.

He explained that the bargaining process is when the two entities come together as equals.

Raihl pointed out that he became head negotiator after Darrin Wahl had to leave the team due to prior commitments, so he missed meetings that took place over the summer.

Superintendent Sandra Pasiero-Davis said of the issue of reprimands, "That's (Raihl's) perception and not the reality."

Another issue at hand is the fact that extra duty contracts have not been created, so those working after 3:45 p.m. in positions such as class advisory aren't being compensated for their work, he said. As a result, the teachers don't feel respected.

Raihl said that the entire contract was up for negotiation this year, which hasn't been done since 2004. Pasiero-Davis said that the extra duty contracts haven't been created because they're covered by the collective bargaining agreement.

Said Pasiero-Davis, "We're all working really hard on it. We all want a contract."

The groups will meet again on Oct. 30.



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