|Updated: 4/24/2012 1:12 am
||Published: 4/23/2012 10:45 pm
The two Pulaski County Special School District unions have been dissolved by the Arkansas State Board of Education for failure to negotiate a contractual compromise with district leaders.
The Pulaski County Special School District is in fiscal distress and the State is calling for millions of dollars in cuts. The district is proposing $4 million is cuts coming from the teachers and staff.
The unions met with members at an emergency meeting Monday evening to discuss what options to pursue. The president of the Pulaski County Classroom Teachers, Marty Nix, says they won’t strike, but will seek legal action in court.
In a closed door meeting, teachers and staff held signs expressing their unhappiness with the district’s cuts. Some even wore bandages on their faces to signify they feel beat up by the district for having to shoulder what they calm are the bulk of the cuts required in the district.
Superintendent Dr. Jerry Guess says the cuts are necessary and he hopes the employees will understand that tough decisions had to be made. The unions and district leaders spent weeks negotiating, but could not come to a compromise. On top of the cost cuts in teachers and staff contacts, dozens of jobs will also be eliminated next school year.
Nix says the union member’s biggest opposition to the cuts is that they are not across the board. Nix says district leaders and administrators are not willing to cut their own salaries, but are forcing those who make the least amount of money to shoulder the burden alone.