The Sioux City school board exchanged figures with the teachers union, as the first step of salary negotiations.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Despite not knowing how much money it'll get from the state this year, contract negotiations between the Sioux City Community school district and the teacher's union are underway.
Both sides met Tuesday to lay out their initial proposals.
The Education Association wants a 3.5 percent increase in teacher salaries and a 75 cent per hour increase in wages for secretaries and instructional assistants.
The school board countered with a 1.65 percent pay increase for teachers, nurses and counselors, and a 1.7 percent increase for secretaries and instructional assistants.
"Our opening position does not look to be quite as dire as it has in past years. We've still got challenges ahead of and difficult things in front of us that must be overcome as we develop the budget and work our way through negotiations," said Dr. Paul Gausman, superintendent for the Sioux City School District.
"It's embarrassing for Iowa to have a $1 billion surplus, and then start to tell teachers and support staff that we may have to lay you off. That's not what we should be doing for the kids of the state of Iowa," said Bruce Lear, Sioux City Education Association director.
The two sides will now begin negotiating behind closed doors. They say these talks will likely continue for weeks.