Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

January 15, 2013

KEA asks for 6.9 percent

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — The Knoxville Education Association (KEA, the teachers' union) has asked for a 6.9 percent total package increase and no changes in insurance as its opening offer as Master Contract negotiations get underway.

KEA President Marty Duffy read the offer. Determining an opening offer was difficult for the KEA, as it is still unknown what the State will set for allowable growth or what insurance costs will be.

The KEA is also seeking changes in the contract language, regarding peer review and collaboration time, to bring the 2013-14 Master Contract into compliance with state laws passed last year.

The school board held a negotiations strategy session following the regular meeting last night. These sessions are closed to the public. Vice President of the School Board, Mike Helle, said he thought KEA's initial offer was a reasonable starting point, and agrees there are many unknowns for the board to be able to make its best counter-offer.

In other board news, the board expelled a middle school student following a closed hearing prior to Monday's regular meeting. Details of what led to the expulsion have not been revealed.

Look for more on the board in the Jan. 18 Journal-Express.