Mediation to commence in early 2018

    Negotiators from the Crookston School Board and the teachers’ bargaining unit, the Crookston Education Association, have reached an impasse on a new contract and have contacted the state to launch the mediation process.

    That’s the word this week from school board member Tim Dufault, chair of the board’s Negotiations Committee. The committee and CEA negotiators held another session last week, their fifth since the spring, he said, and it’s become apparent that further progress will not be made without the assistance of a mediator.

    The state agency that provides mediation services in instances like this has been contacted, Dufault said, but it will likely be January or possibly later before a mediation session is scheduled.

    The CEA’s contract expired this past summer, on June 30. The current contract being negotiated would cover the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.

    Dufault said the impasse with the CEA will likely delay the school board’s negotiations with other units on their contracts. “It’s probably not fair to negotiate with them while we’re still working with the largest group,” he said.