A strike could be looming in the South Butler County School District.
The teachers union and the school board have been trying to negotiate for months but can’t seem to come to an agreement. The two sides last met late last week and the head of the teachers’ union Brooke Witt said it didn’t go well.
“We were disappointed,” Witt said in an interview Friday. “I asked if they had a wage or healthcare proposal for us and they said no. They reiterated that the positions they gave us were the same as their initial proposal and we didn’t believe that was bargaining in good faith or engaging in the negotiations process.”
Witt said the school board “continues to disrespect” the teachers and pointed to a $3 million increase in South Butler’s general fund over the past four years as evidence that the district has the money available to fairly settle a contract.
On the other side, South Butler school district solicitor Tom Breth said the union was passing along misinformation.
“It’s just another example of the frustration the board members are having because it’s not about the issues,” Breth said in an interview Friday. “It’s about this game that they always want to seem to play and the board is going to continue to, once again, act in a professional and respectful manner.”
No additional negotiation sessions have been scheduled at this time. Witt said a vote has already been taken to give the union negotiating team the authorization to call for a strike if they decide it is the best course of action to take.
The teachers have been working without a contract for nearly four years.