Dayton’s teachers union and district leadership spent another full day in mediation Monday but did not reach a deal, kicking off a busy week that could lead to a new contract — or to a teachers strike.
The parties worked with the federal mediator until almost 10 p.m. Monday after a nine-hour session last Thursday. The last currently scheduled session is Wednesday, although both groups have said if a deal is not reached that day, they hope to keep talking.
DPS Superintendent Rhonda Corr said Monday night that the two sides “had some good and productive talks.” The teachers union released a short statement thanking community members for their support. President David Romick has said he expects the talks to go down to the wire, with the union planning to go on strike at 12:01 a.m. Friday if a deal is not in place. The first day of classes is Tuesday, Aug. 15.
Some teachers are wearing buttons that say, “I don’t want to strike, but I will,” as the union pushes for higher pay, better counselor/librarian staffing, and retention of teacher planning time, among other issues. Corr has repeatedly said she doesn’t want a strike either, but has to weigh the teachers’ requests against the district’s financial constraints.
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The next few days will be busy. The school board has its regularly scheduled “review session” meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and the district and union have mediation scheduled all day Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, 4 p.m. is the filing deadline for people who want to run for school board in November. Four seats are up for election, and incumbents Ron Lee, Adil Baguirov and Hazel Rountree have already said they are not running for re-election.
Eight people so far have submitted their petitions to the Board of Elections to run for those seats – incumbent Joe Lacey and newcomers Jocelyn Rhynard, Donna Hill, Jo’el Thomas-Jones, Mohamed Al Hamdani, Paul Bradley, William Harris Jr. and Karen Wick-Gagnet.
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