State panel releases recommendations on Fargo teacher contract negotiations

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 1:20 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The North Dakota Education Fact Finding Commission has released its report with recommendations to resolve the impasse in Fargo teacher contract negotiations, following a public hearing on September 21.

The Fargo Education Association (FEA) and the Board are in the process of reviewing the findings.

“We are committed to reaching a resolution with the Board that addresses the concerns of educators,” said Grant Kraft, President of FEA. “We look forward to negotiating again with the school board, for the first time in three months, to help reach agreement that is best for our students, educators, and broader community,”

If accepted, the Fact Finding recommendations would:

  • Implement the Board’s salary proposal, which includes a 3.5% increase over two years for the most experienced and educated teachers;
  • Continue current practice of providing teachers time before school, after school, and within the student contact day to create lessons, contact families, and meet to discuss individual student needs;
  • Expand the ways in which a secondary teacher’s time for lesson planning can be eroded;
  • Allow teachers to be assigned recess supervision without additional pay and without providing them discretion on the format or location of recess;
  • Increase the elementary teacher workday by a half hour one day per week; and,
  • Establish a new policy to provide teachers who substitute for unfilled positions extra personal days.

The Fargo School Board and the Fargo Education Association began bargaining on February 8, 2023. On August 30, in an e-mail to the Chairman of the North Dakota Education Fact Finding Commission, Tara B. Brandner, District General Counsel for Fargo Public Schools, reported that negotiations were at impasse.

Currently, the School Board and FEA are scheduled to resume negotiations and review the Fact Finding Commission’s report on Wednesday, October 11 starting at 5:00 p.m. at the Agassiz Cafeteria.

You can read the full report here.