Before the end of July, the Jordan School Board probably will decide on pay raises for nearly 3,000 teachers in the district.
With most students on summer vacation, union officials and board members have kept up negotiations aimed at reaching a working contract for the 1990-91 school year.The six-member school board met Tuesday night in closed session to review contract proposals.
Jordan Education Association President Carol Cremer would not comment on any proposals.
"The teachers are concerned about the lack of legislative commitment to funding education. We need to make education a priority to help teachers stay in the profession to make it financially adequate," Cremer said.
"Some teachers are still very frustrated and very angry at what happened during the legislative session, but as far as the association being antagonistic and angry with the board, we aren't.
"Negotiations are continuing," Cremer said. "We've had some good dialogue and made some progress, but we have not reached a settlement," Cremer said.
Last year all certified personnel received 3.25 percent salary increases with special wage incentives going to beginning and experienced teachers, said district spokeswoman Patty Dahl. "It's a good year for the teachers, but maybe not as good as some had hoped it would be."
Cremer said she couldn't release any specific details about the negotiations but said the union's proposal includes the $1,000-per-year raise promised by the Legislature to every teacher and wage increases that would offset inflation.
For the past seven years, teachers' wages have remained the same, though inflation has increased almost 11 percent, Cremer said. "We didn't propose an 11 percent salary increase, but we did propose a formula to bring us up to that in three years."
Cremer said the union would have liked to end the negotiations before the end of the regular school year in May but said teachers are willing to wait until the end of July.
"We're not eager to settle just to meet a timeline. We would rather get what our teachers need," she said.
Jordan Education Association Vice President Andrea Blain, who is also a member of the union's negotiations team, said the district's team has been willing to work on all items proposed. "We agree on many things. Of course, we come down to the dollar amount, and that's a problem. We're still looking beyond the $1,000, which is 4 percent, and 2.33 percent on insurance. These will be part of the package, but we want more than that.
"We have one figure and the district has another, but we're almost there."
The union does not support giving administrators the same raise it is asking for its members, Cremer said.
"We would definitely feel very frustrated because that (same wage increases for administrators) would violate the legislative intent. The intent is to give teachers more than the average state employee, and if school districts go around that intent and give everyone the same, they would be violating the law. That would really create a real discord between us and the school board," Cremer said.