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APS and teachers complete fact-finding process

Submitted by on April 9, 2010 – 3:32 amNo Comment

It took approximately six hours but Alpena Public Schools and its teachers’ union have completed a fact-finding session that may help resolve contract differences.

Some 230 APS teachers have been working without a contract since the end of August 2009.  On Wednesday, the two sides presented their cases to a fact-finder for his opinion.  Typically it would take about 90-days to receive the non-binding opinion, but the district asked for expedited fact-finding and hope to have the results back by the beginning of May.  Negotiations will start back up at that time.

Normal procedures dictate that if the two sides can not reach a contract agreement within 60 days of receiving the opinion, the school board could implement its last contract offer without approval of the teachers union.  However, Pat Sampier, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources does not want that to happen.  Instead, she would like to see the two sides reach a mutual agreement.

At a February board meeting, Sampier said the two largest obstacles remaining in the negotiations were wages and benefits. 

Teachers are represented by the Alpena Education Association (AEA), the local unit of the Michigan Education Association (MEA).