Seven months later, Nampa OKs contract

The negotiating deadline was June 30. But on Tuesday, the Nampa School Board finally ratified a master contract for the 2013-14 school year.

Trustees and the Nampa Education Association had stayed at the bargaining table for months — long after failing to come to terms on financial issues. As a result, the district on July 1 imposed financial terms, including 14 unpaid furlough days.

Since then, Idaho’s third-largest district used one-time state training money to buy back one of the 14 furlough days. And over the past seven months, the district and the union plugged away on a list of non-financial issues, such as sick leave and class size — issues that were brought back into the negotiations process with the November 2012 repeal of Proposition 1.

In the end, there was across-the-board agreement. The union unanimously ratified the master contract in late January, setting the stage for Tuesday’s unanimous board vote.

“I appreciate the time investment of both teams to rebuild our master contract after the repeal of the Luna Laws and we did it through positive collaboration,” NEA president Jaimee Hoesing said.

“This was a new process for all of us that started on the heels of financial turmoil and mistrust,” interim Superintendent Pete Koehler said. “We’ve made great progress and I appreciate the work of Jaimee and her team.”

The parties will have little time to rest, because the process resumes next week. They will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday  to begin work on the 2014-15 contract.

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