(Fargo, ND) – The North Dakota Education Fact Finding Commission has released its final report and recommendations following a September 21 hearing. The hearing dealt with an impasse between the Fargo School Board and Fargo Education Association.
The three-person Commission studied the findings from the hearing.
In its final report, the Commission recommended a two-year contract, which would cover the academic years 2023-24 and 2024-25, including that all items agreed to previously would remain in the agreement.
Additionally, the Commission recommended that the Board’s final salary offer be approved. The Board’s final offer was for a single matrix with a change in multipliers, an increase in the base from $43,493 to $47,393, and that the built-in step increase continues for both years.
“The two-year increase (base, step, lane, and hourly) is exceeding the national cost of living increases (the consumer price index),” the report stated.
The Commission’s final recommendation is to eliminate “the specific non-traditional name settings in Article VI(F)5.” This would change “prep time” to “professional time.” Additionally, a new policy would be created for teachers who substitute for unfilled position, allowing them to earn extra personal days; an increase in the elementary teacher’s workday from 7.5 hours to 8 hours for one day a week.
Other changes include allowing elementary teachers preparation and planning time to be no fewer than 245 minutes averaged per five days, and “the addition to the secondary level, field trips, school assemblies, monitoring of local, state or federal assessments and required safety drills to the reasons for which professional time can be modified.”
Teachers and the Board must now meet separately to read and discuss the Commission’s recommendations. Additionally, negotiating teams must meet at least once to attempt a final resolution to the impasse.