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Negotiations for DL teachers are an ongoing process

After the January School Board meeting, information regarding the current contract negotiations for District #22 (Detroit Lakes) was reported online and in the paper. In those reports Superintendent Doug Froke shared that the Principal's Association had settled for a 3.33 percent increase and the Secretaries Association had a tentative 4.56 percent increase agreement. Mr. Froke then went on to share percentage numbers involved in the o going process concerning the District and Education Minnesota Detroit Lakes (teachers).

I would like to point out that the numbers cited in this ongoing process are just that, numbers in an ongoing process, and I am not sure why Mr. Froke felt the need to share that information when we have always agreed not to announce such numbers until the process is completed. As Mr. Froke stated, we are waiting to hear from the Bureau of Mediation Services because the district petitioned to have an impartial party come and help the two sides arrive at an agreement.

EMDL feels that it's important that the general public knows that this process can be fairly complicated and to present percentage numbers out of context, without knowing all that is involved in arriving at these numbers, can be misleading. Let me point out that moving teachers through the steps and lanes process that has been in place for all teachers for many years in this state, requires 4 percent alone. That being said, it could be stated that we are then negotiating 4.12 percent from the 8.12 percent that was reported. When looking at compensation packages for the various groups, including the superintendent, the percentage increases are not the same for all parties concerned.

EMDL is confident that an agreement will be reached with the district in a reasonable amount of time and would like to reassure everyone in the community that what we are asking for in this round of negotiations is reasonable, as compared to our peers and what we know to be the current condition of the district. We continue to work hard for you and all of the students of our district! -- Bruce Raboin, lead negotiator, Education Minnesota Detroit Lakes