Sep 15, 2020 8:47 PM

First negotiation session held with teachers and USD 308

Posted Sep 15, 2020 8:47 PM

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Negotiations are underway between Hutchinson USD 308 and its teachers. Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Rick Kraus says the first meeting is always brief.

“What we do is just exchange language and ask clarifying questions and then set the next meeting,” Kraus said. “It’s just a chance to make sure we understand what the other side is asking.”

With the pandemic keeping things in a state of uncertainty, the contract may need to have some flexibility for any necessary change.

“I think there is some room for conversation,” Kraus said. “We need to give careful consideration for language that will update the contract that may be in there for a long time. So I think there is an opportunity for dialogue and conversation.”

Kraus admits that this negotiating session will have some unknowns with the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s all so new and certainly there's a lot of grace and collaborative work that needs to be done in order to make sure we’re doing the right thing for kids,” Kraus stressed. “None of us have ever experienced what we’re going through.”

The next meeting between the two sides is set for Sept. 28. Kraus says the district will have its official student headcount by then, which should bring some of the financial numbers into focus.