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Negotiations teams set goals for sessions

The first official collaborative bargaining session between the West Fargo Education Association and the West Fargo School Board was held on May 12, at the Leidal Education Center. Negotiators representing the WFEA include: facilitator Dan Wolf, Jolene Sand, Joan Connor, Aaron Knodel, and Janae Larson.

School board representatives include: board president Tom Gentzkow, facilitator; Vice President Karen Nitzkorski; Board member Kay Kiefer; Joe Sykora, the district's business manager; Robin Hill, Human Resources Director; and Louise Dardis, Assistant Superintendent. WFEA member Gail Haug will serve as recorder for the negotiations sessions.

After introductions were made around the table, each side presented a list of topics they plan to address during negotiations. The first topic at the top of the list for both negotiating teams was salaries. No mention was made of insurance benefits. Both sides have shared interest in reestablishing a communications committee and reorganizing the calendar committee.

WFEA members would like to see adjustments made to current sick leave and catastrophic leave policies. They also seek changes to contract language to allow teachers to accumulate additional personal days, and request the number of district staff development days be reduced from four to two to allow for two teacher work days.

The school board wants to review and update pay schedules for co-curricular positions and advisors. They also plan to study the possibility of adding incentive-based and leadership-based pay options.

The next negotiations meeting will be held on May 26, at the Leidal Education Center, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The regular school board meeting will follow at 7 p.m.