It could be several months before Akron Public School teachers can meet with an arbitrator and fact-finder to try and come up with a new contract agreement with the Board Of Education. On August 16th the district and the Akron Education Association announced an impasse in contract negotiations.
AEA Vice President Mike Rusnak tells AkronNewsNow " We're quite a ways off. I think the next available date she gave us was in January. So we may not be talking with her , but shortly with the Board to see if there are other dates available." Rusnak and the teachers would prefer for the arbitration to begin much earlier.
Mike Rusnak says he also would have preferred the way the AEA and Board negotiated contracts in the past utilizing mediation.
" It's unfortunate that we didn't keep the mediation process we used for the last decade and a half that delivered early agreements between us and the Board," says Rusnak.
Rusnak says that the absence of a long-time mediator means negotiations moved more slowly this year.
The AEA and the Board will submit all unresolved items to a fact-finder. The fact-finder will conduct a hearing on all unresolved issues and submit a set of recommendations to both sides. If the AEA or the Board rejects the fact-finder's report, the parties are required by the Agreement to attempt to mediate the remaining unresolved issues.
In the meantime the more than 1700 teachers will continue to work under terms of the old expired contract.
Akron Public Schools later declared another impasse with a union, but this time it's with a union representing maintainance, custodial, ground and transportation workers.
The impasse comes as the district places a 7.9 mill operating levy on the November ballot. Voters rejected a similar levy request in November of last year.