Ramona Unified School District (RUSD) and Ramona Teachers Association are moving to a state-supervised "fact-finding" phase next week after more than a year of unsucessful contract negotiations, The U-T San Diego reported Thursday.
According to the local news publication, both the district and teachers union appoint a panel member, with the third member remaining impartial.
Though the hearing is closed to the public, the panel’s findings will be public record.
Donna Braye-Romero, president of the teachers union, said to the Sentinel that a rally likely will occur outside the district office after school the day of the hearing.
The controversy over contracts is rooted in compensation. According to the Sentinel, the chief negotiator for the teachers union, Grant McNiff, said the district is asking teachers for a 9 percent cut this school year and as well as the next two years.
“The Ramona Teachers Association was willing to make a concession of 4 1/2 percent for two years in a row, and it was rejected,” he said. “It wasn’t enough. The superintendent was given a salary increase of 2 1/2 percent or more, just as he has for the last four years.”
According to the U-T San Diego, Braye-Romero said that they don't know what's going to happen with the fact-finding, but the association doesn't believe RUSD will give in. To date, only teachers in the district have fully paid benefits, the publication said.
“We felt it was essential to keep the fully paid benefits,” Braye-Romero said to the U-T.
RUSD Superintendent Robert Graeff said he was hopeful of the fact-finding, the U-T said.
The fact-finding panel’s recommendations won’t be binding.