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Morrison Teachers, Board Hit Block

Morrison talks reach an impasse

DALLAS -- Negotiations are at an impasse between Morrison Alternative Charter School and Morrison staff members.

"Morrison is working through OSBA (Oregon School Boards Association) to set up mediation," said Morrison Executive Director Don Wildfang. No date for resumption of talks has been set.

"We're going forward and have a program," Wildfang added. "We plan to open and operate as planned. I want to reassure our community that the instructional program won't be negatively impacted by this impasse."

The impasse was reached at the July 7 meeting between staff negotiators and the Morrison Board team. "Both sides agreed it was at impasse," Wildfang said.

Speaking for the staff, Ken Guffey said "the teachers want the same thing as Dallas School District. They promised us that.

"We were told by (Board Chair) Don Currie we'd have the same or better as far as compensation. He (Currie) even said, 'We'll give you a dollar more.'"

Guffey said in some cases the potential pay differs from $1,200 to $2,000 from what he felt had been promised. "The teaching staff has asked me to hold them to their promise."

Agreement on all terms of the contract have been reached except compensation.

"This could have been avoided if they would have just accepted the salary schedule in the Dallas School District contract," Guffey concluded.

In further signs of discord among the Morrison administration and staff, both Guffey and fellow teacher Jaime Richardson talked directly with Dallas School Board members Bob Ottaway and Mike Timmerman as well as former Superintendent Dave Novotney.

"We talked with the district because we are so frustrated being promised a lot of stuff and seeing our students denied being able to walk with Dallas High graduates at graduation, denied participating in the Dallas High raft trip, denied attending the junior-senior prom and denied participation in the senior all-night party," Guffey explained.

"We don't want to lose our charter it is beneficial to the community and the kids."

Wildfang commented, "We want to do all we can to have a united front with the Dallas District."

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