Caldwell reaches tentative labor agreement

After a second meeting with a federal mediator Wednesday, the Caldwell School District has a tentative labor agreement in place.

A few highlights from the agreement:

About 80 percent of the district’s teachers will fall under the career ladder — and the salary schedule spelled out under this 2015 law. These teachers will receive raises of 6.5 to 12.5 percent, Superintendent Shalene French said Thursday.

The agreement spells out a different set of raises for veteran teachers — instructors whose salaries exceed the career ladder schedule. All veteran teachers will receive a $1,800 one-time payment, and base salary increases of at least 3.08 percent.

The agreement sets up a new arbitration process, a hangup from previous bargaining sessions. Employees can seek arbitration as a final step in the grievance process. The decision will no longer fall to a single outside arbitrator — a framework the district opposed — and will go instead to a panel of three arbitrators appointed by the parties.

Caldwell’s labor talks stretched nearly two months into the 2017-18 budget year, and more than two weeks into the school year.

The Caldwell Education Association is expected to vote on the proposed agreement next week. If the union approves the deal, trustees will take up the proposal at their Sept. 11 meeting, French said.

Like what you’re reading? Sign up for our weekly newsletter »

Caldwell is the second large district to reach a tentative labor agreement in the waning days of August. Pocatello-Chubbuck negotiators struck a deal after a mediation session earlier this week.