After negotiations on Thursday, My team had a very long and drawn out conversation about bargaining. We are firm that we need to finish bargaining for the 2017-18 school year before we move onto the next bargain. Please respect our position and do not continue to pressure MTA into negotiating for 2018/19. The District did not seem to be in a rush to come to the table last year, so why the urgency now?
In looking back on our history, I would like to remind you that I contacted you in early November to let you know that we would be finishing our survey of membership and planned to sunshine at the December 12th board meeting.
We were agreeable to meet on November 30th, but there was a change on your end, so we met on December 7th.
Shortly after our meeting, I emailed you On December 11th, that we should coordinate and calendar bargaining days.
I stated “We are looking for at least 11 "full day" dates between January and May. We can always take the dates off the back end of the calendar if we don't need them. However, with this being a fully opened contract, I'd like to be proactive in scheduling. In the past, our full day meetings went from 8:30 to 3, and afternoon meetings from 3:30 to 5:30. Please let me know your thoughts on these times and if you are agreeable.”
On December 13th, you requested that we meet in person to schedule dates. I replied the next day and suggested Friday, the 15th, our last day before winter break. That did not work, so you requested Monday the 19th, during winter break, which didn’t work due to my husband’s surgery. I gave several other dates and times during the week that we could meet.
On December 18th, I stated “Can we plan for our 1st/2nd negotiations meeting on January 31st, Feb 5th 6th or 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th or 15th? I'm concerned about calendar booking up too fast if we wait too long.” You said “Let’s wait.”
I requested that we meet as soon as we come back from winter break, the week of January 8th.
On December 29th, you replied that a meeting on January 11th would be agreeable.
We sunshined on January 9th, right when we came back from break and your team sunshined on the 23rd.
We met on January 11th and sorted out dates that would work for both teams. I had already flushed out possible dates with my team. On that day, we set several dates. However, due to your team’s conflicts, several dates were removed shortly after our meeting. Those dates were: January 31st, February 9th, March 21st were taken off the calendar. March 15th would also be released due to a personal matter.
Furthermore, although we appreciate the fact that you have been on time diligently at 9am since August 22nd, it does not negate the fact that more than 8 hours of bargaining time was wasted due to late start times enacted by your team since negotiations started. In addition, lunches were often over 1 hour due to food arrival issues, which could be solved by a simple phone call order ahead of time ensuring arrival of your meal in a timely fashion.
In short, it is more than likely we would have settled before the end of the 2017-2018 school year if we had the necessary time that was scheduled.
MTA appreciates the work we have been able to accomplish at the last few bargaining sessions. We look forward to completing negotiations for the 2017-18 year in the next few sessions.
MTA Bargaining Chair