Quincy Federation unified before QPS school board as contract ta - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy Federation unified before QPS school board as contract talks continue

Quincy Federation members showed up for Tuesday's board meeting. Quincy Federation members showed up for Tuesday's board meeting.

It was a show of solidarity at Tuesday's Quincy Public School Board meeting as QPS contract negotiations continue with the fall semester more than half way over.

A sea of blue filled the audience. Quincy Federation members packed the room as board members read projections on the budget for the next five years.

"We want to make sure that the community knows that teachers and all the staff are an important part of that," Jen Drew with Quincy Federation said.

Without speaking during public comments, district officials say their voice is being heard.

"We appreciate them showing their support tonight," Superintendent Roy Webb said. "They're good teachers. They're good people."

The school district and the union have been working on finalizing a wall-to-wall contract since July and it's been a difficult process.

"It's a process and we just look for some patience," Webb explained. "It's complicated process as we brought five contracts into one."

To help in that, both the union and school district agreed to bring in a federal mediator to try and work past some of the sticking points.

"We've been able to agree on some more language items that we hadn't been able to before," Drew said. "The salary is just kind of hanging out there still."

Salary is a concern for the staff. Compared to schools of similar size, Quincy ranks second to last in salaries for teachers and low for bus drivers and custodians.

"I think that's always a sticking point is that we want to be paid a fair wage also," Drew explained.

As the contract negotiations drag on, the possibility of strikes has come into the discussion, but Drew doesn't think that's in the cards yet.

"Of course that's always in the back of some people's minds on both sides probably, but I don't think it's fair to say we're ready to file anything at this time," Drew added.

Right now, teachers and staff are in different unions working under their old contract terms. They'll be under one union once a wall-to-wall contract is agreed upon. The next meeting is set for Monday, November 28th.

Also at Monday's school board, the board approved a $12.4 million bid from Waterkotte Construction to build the new elementary school on North 12th Street.

The board also passed next year's tax levy which the QPS business manager says will see no increase in the tax rate, if property values increase.

And the board approved a $750,000 loan against the working cash fund for transportation services.

Powered by Frankly