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Negotiations Continue Between Tuolumne County Special Ed Union and Superintendents Office

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Sonora, CA — Special Education Teachers and Specialists in Tuolumne County are frustrated with their lack of a contract.

According to Union President Cindy Mudge, the County Superintendents office is dragging out the process of negotiations.

She said the teachers feel like they are being brushed off, since she said there is no law that mandates a contract.

The teachers have been attending countless board meetings to plead their case and last week, they even protested with picket signs outside a School Board Meeting.

Mudge said that there are 30 teachers who have been working without a contract since June of 2003.

A time frame that several teachers have described as completely unnecessary.

However; despite negotiation meetings once a month, Mudge feels that nothing is being accomplished.

Tuolumne County School Superintendent Joe Silva said he wants to settle on a contract just as much as the teachers do.

But he thinks the lengthy negotiations have to do with a request from the Union for a brand new contract.

Mudge said that the contract is normally renegotiated every 3 years, however every year each party can bring to the table a few items to reconsider as far as salary, and benefits.

According to several teachers it is a big strain on the students when teachers have to leave class to attend negotiation meetings because a substitute has to be brought in, and Mudge said when you are dealing with emotionally and developmentally challenged students it can causes problems when they are faced with a stranger.

The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for today.