Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim says contract negations with the school district could last up to two more weeks as a second group plans to voice its opinion of the union’s proposed contract Tuesday.
“I feel like we are taking the time we need to look at it thoughtfully and improve for the future,” McKim says.
This is the first time the JCTA contract will be updated in eight years, and McKim says they’ve scheduled up to two more weeks to finish the negotiations that began early this month.
“Everyone would love to see things go very quickly and be done expeditiously, but in the real world it just takes time to work through a complex document like this,” he says.
Some groups have been vocal against the union leading up to the negotiations.
First, it was a group called Kids First Louisville, which began running radio ads ahead of the negotiations blaming the union for hindering school turnaround efforts, a claim the union responded to in its own ads.
Jefferson County Public Schools is also under pressure from the Kentucky Department of Education to address what Commissioner Terry Holliday called perceived union-created barriers to improving student success.
Now, a group of at least five prominent African-American ministers–including pastors Jerry Stephenson of the Black Alliance for Educational Options and Simmons College President Kevin Cosby–is planning “to address the JCTA contract negotiations,” at the district’s Van Hoose building. Efforts to reach those involved for comment were unsuccessful.
The media release for Tuesday’s press event was sent by the same PR group being used by Kids First Louisville, which has been critical of the teachers union. But President David Nicklies says Kids First Louisville is not involved with tomorrow’s event.
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