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State rules in favor of Muncie Teachers Association

A state investigator has ruled in favor of Muncie teachers in their two-year dispute with Muncie schools over drastic pay cuts.

A fact finder for the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board (IEERB) issued a 30-page decision in a fact-finding evaluation involving Muncie Community Schools (MCS) and the Muncie Teachers Association (MTA), an affiliate of ISTA. The decision states in part, "It is the conclusion of the Fact Finder for all the reasons stated herein that the MTA LBO (last best offer) and proposed CBA (collective bargaining agreement) for FY 2016 and FY 2017 should be accepted as the Collective Bargaining Agreement of the parties."

The fact finder agreed with MTA’s position that for nearly two years, "MCS's plan to both reduce salaries and increase insurance costs to teachers appear to present a potentially catastrophic situation for teachers."

MCS had proposed that teachers take up to a nearly 23 percent cut in salaries and pay thousands of dollars more per year in insurance costs. MCS's proposal would have been catastrophic to Muncie teachers and likely would have led to hundreds of teachers leaving Muncie schools, leaving many kids without a qualified teacher.

“Congratulations to MTA President Pat Kennedy, MTA's officers, bargaining team, and MTA members for staying strong throughout this process,” said ISTA President Teresa Meredith. “Although there are still tough times to come, ISTA stands committed to MTA and its members and will continue to fight for Muncie teachers.”

MTA's proposal increased insurance costs to teachers but was adopted with no cuts in salaries. The fact finder recognized that MTA's cuts save MCS nearly $6,000,000 over a two-year period.

In her conclusion, the fact finder stated, "As part of the process involved in stabilizing and rebuilding its financial status, MCS must accept the consequences of past actions, [and] act fairly and honestly with integrity and transparency in developing a logical and carefully considered budgetary strategy."