Negotiating teams from the Coachella Valley Unified School District and the Coachella Valley Teachers Union met with a neutral party in what they are calling a fact finding session. Talks went through the night as both sides made their case for contract agreements.
Tensions have been at an all time high as Coachella Valley Unified School District teachers have been trying to negotiate new contracts for over a year. Teachers are asking for a more that 7 percent raise and to have collaboration time added to their contracts. In the past the district has said they have competitive salaries and and the union has rejected several good offers.
The union says they’re not asking for more than any other teacher makes in the valley and they are losing good teachers because of the salary discrepancy.
Negotiations broke down in October.
The president of the teachers union, Richard Razo says if they don’t reach an agreement before the end of the year they will go on strike, "I’m hoping that we will go through fact-finding and somehow through mediation fact-finding process that will have a deal at the end of the night so the teachers do not get forced to go on strike."
Alexis Lanza, a teacher with the district says she’s never seen moral sink so low and she’s urging the district to reach a fair agreement so they don’t have to strike, "Everything in me wants to be with my students to say that I can’t cross the fence is a really difficult situation but I will strike if it means getting respected and getting to resources in time I will strike."
The Coachella Valley Unified School District says they just want to come to an agreement.