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Principals and City Reach Impasse in Bargaining

Thursday, November 03, 2011 - 12:21 AM

City officials and the principals' union have reached an impasse in their negotiations over a new contract, the union announced on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the state's labor relations board formally declared that the city's Department of Education and the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators had made no progress in their contract negotiations, which have been going on for more than a year.

Chiara Coletti, a spokeswoman for the union, said that Ernest A. Logan, the president of the union, asked for the Public Employment Relations Board to intervene and declare an impasse in October. With that accomplished, the state will appoint a mediator to oversee talks.

"It’s been about a year and a half since the contract expired, and we have gotten nowhere," Ms. Coletti said. She would not say what issues, whether of salary increases or changes in working conditions, stand between the two sides and agreement.

According to Ms. Coletti, the city opposed the declaration of an impasse. The Department of Education has not issued a response to the board's decision.

Principals, assistant principals and other school administrators — about 6,500 of whom are represented in contract negotiations by the council — have been working under the same contract since 2007. It expired in 2010, but its provisions remain in place until the union and city reach a new agreement.

The union sent the following message to its members:

C.S.A. filed for impasse with the N.Y.S. Public Employment Relations Board in October over the city’s failure to negotiate a new contract with the union. On Nov. 1, PERB agreed with C.S.A. that negotiations with the city are, indeed, at an impasse. By declaring an impasse over the city's objections, PERB concurred with C.S.A.'s position that the assistance of a neutral third-party mediator would be beneficial to advance the collective bargaining process between the parties.

The union will keep you apprised of meetings with the assigned mediator and looks forward to continued negotiations to deliver our members a fair and equitable contract. The last contract expired on March 5, 2010. The 1982 Triborough Amendment to the state’s Taylor law mandates that the terms of an expired contract remain in force until a new contract is approved.

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