The bargaining team of the Kiona-Benton City School District Education Association has begun what is expected to be a tough negotiation with the district administration. At the same time of this negotiation, the teacher's union is also battling several unfair labor practice claims, arbitrations, numerous grievances and for the restoration of a contracted $50,000 health care pool that the district ceased to fund in the middle of the current contract year.
The district administration claims to be financially stable, as was reported at a recent board meeting by the district financial manager. Perhaps this solvency is the reason why the district has hired a professional negotiation team as well as paying their attorney his hourly rate to attend the negotiations. The district superintendent also is receiving a substantial pay raise with his contract renewal.
These items, as well as a substantial amount of attorney's fees that were incurred during the district's failure to legally follow the current teaching contract, are paid for with levy dollars collected from the taxpayers.
As a taxpayer, teacher, and parent, I am sickened by the events taking place. I encourage all the citizens of Benton City, as well as the parents of students who attend the Kiona-Benton City schools, to become informed and to support the fair, equitable and legal resolution of these matters and others.
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STEPHANIE A. ADAMSON, Benton City