At the end of July and with the new school term less than three weeks away, Gilroy teachers were no closer than they were months ago reaching a contract agreement with the school district, according to Gilroy Teachers Association President Jonathan Bass.
“The only update is that there is a (tentative) fact-finding hearing date set for Sept. 14,” said Bass. “Until then, unless something changes, everything is on hold.”
This news comes three weeks after Gilroy Unified School District Superintendent Deborah Flores said she was “confident” that a deal would get done prior to the start of the 2018-19 school year.
GTA members have been working without a contract since the previous three-year deal expired in June 2017.
In June 2018, 84 percent of GTA members voted in favor of a strike authorization if an “acceptable agreement” is not reached. According to GTA’s June 11 announcement, a teacher strike “will likely take place shortly after the start of the 2018-19 school year.” The first day of student instruction is scheduled for Aug. 16 at the eight elementary, three middle and four high schools.
Prior to both sides calling an impasse in negotiations back in March, the union’s request was for a 6 percent pay raise and 5 percent bump in district contributions to health care benefits. The district’s offer was a 2 percent pay increase and no additional health benefit contributions.
The “fact-finding process” is being conducted through the state’s Public Employee Relations Board. Both sides will present their case to a fact-finding panel.