Another failed bargaining session on Tuesday has again left the Association of Pleasanton Teachers and the Pleasanton Unified School District negotiation teams at a standstill, meaning the two sides are on track to participate in a state-led mediation process next month.
APT President Cheryl Atkins said that while the union was optimistic when the district invited them back to the table with a new offer to help settle negotiations after the union declared an impasse, that contract proposal from PUSD was not enough.
"APT was hopeful that returning to the table today would be a positive move for both sides, which would get us closer to a settlement and we would not have to continue to take time out of our classrooms and away from our students," Atkins told the Weekly late Tuesday night. "However, the district's offer didn't advance us in the negotiations process."
Atkins said that she was not able to share the details of the new offer because it was not a formal written offer -- it was more of an idea that was posed by the district, which allowed both sides to talk more freely about their needs. She did, however, say that the APT had "expected a formal proposal when we agreed to return to the table but was then told the morning of, that it wouldn't be possible and that an idea would be given."
PUSD has not responded for comments as of Friday morning, but the district had sent out a press release on Monday stating that it had expressed interest in coming back to the table "with the shared goal of reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement."
The union declared the impasse in negotiations on Oct. 24, initiating the state mediation process, which is facilitated by a state mediator assigned by the Mediation and Conciliation Service of the Public Employee Relations Board, according to PUSD officials.
The mediation session is still currently scheduled for Dec. 15.
APT had declared the impasse with the district after the two sides remained well apart on proposed salary increases. The district originally proposed raising teacher salaries 6.3% but has since raised it to 6.5% while the APT initially asked for a 15% raise and has since lowered it to 14.25%.
While there are other compensation and contract requests from the APT, the salary component has been the main talking point from both sides as the district has held a strong stance against the large increase in salary mainly due to budget restrictions while the teachers have been very vocal about the need for higher pay and fully paid benefits.
Tensions between the two sides came to a head last month when roughly 400 teachers and community members marched through downtown to voice their concerns and show support for the teacher union at the Oct. 26 school board meeting.