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PCSSD, union talks called off after 30 minutes

Tensions brew between Pulaski County unions and the school district. In a meeting to discuss possible cuts resulting from the district's fiscal distress status, no one agreed on anything.
PULASKI COUNTY, AR - Representatives from the Pulaski Association of Classroom Teachers and the Pulaski Association of Support Staff say they followed through on their end of the deal.

"They would not address, they would not even sign off on a 0% pay raise without us entertaining the entire contract," PACT President Marty Nix said.

Nix says both unions proposed no increase in pay and no changes to current insurance benefits. Salaries and benefits are the only two elements they agreed to discuss.

But PCSSD Superintendent Jerry Guess says they need to negotiate on more than just salaries and insurance benefits. The district needs to make another $7 million in cuts to get out of the red. They hope unions will help them.

"There has to be an acknowledgment that the district's financial situation requires changes in the agreement that is unequivocal," Guess said.

"If they want to talk about the budget crisis later on, we will, but we must go by the contract," PASS President Emry Chesterfield said.

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