FAIRPLAY, Colo., Aug. 29 – Nearly six hours past yesterday’s (Aug. 28) 4 p.m. deadline to provide a meaningful counterproposal on educator pay, the Park County School DistrictRE-2 only resubmitted proposals that South Park Education Association had previously rejected during mediation.

“The district proposals do not achieve competitive educator pay and benefits that are so vital to helping every student in Park County thrive,” said SPEA President Taya Mastrobuono, an elementary school teacher in Fairplay.

“The district’s lack of a reasonable or even original counterproposal to advance negotiations shows their unwillingness to bargain in good faith and will force the educators of SPEA to take a strike vote, Wednesday, Sept. 4.”

The district has refused to negotiate salaries and have meaningful conversations with educators about its financial projections in a public bargaining session for years. District audits shows excessive funds held in reserve that could build a competitive salary schedule for all employees.

“The district struggles to retain and attract good educators for our students,” Mastrobuono said. “The district needs to be mindful that students are the ones who suffer when good educators leave because they can’t afford to live in our community. Board members have not heard our voice.”

SPEA invites the district to work toward an agreement in hopes the district does what is necessary to prevent a strike. SPEA is committed to its offer to meet at the bargaining table in good faith, Sept. 6, to further discuss an agreement that will benefit the students of Park County.

“Leadership of the SPEA authorized a strike vote for Wednesday, Sept. 4, in order to retain and attract dedicated employees who love our students and are committed to making the Fairplay community a great place to work and raise a family. No educator wants a strike; we want to be in school with our students. However, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that our students have the schools they deserve,” Mastrobuono concluded.

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