Laura Seitz, Deseret News
In this March 2010 file photo, the Jordan Education Association protests proposed legislation to cut education funding.

Members of the Jordan Education Association, or JEA, are disappointed with the negotiations process chosen by the Jordan School Board this year. With new school board members and a new superintendent, employees felt calm and hopeful with improving morale. The JEA negotiations team desired collaboration through interest-based bargaining. Hope was lost when the board chose to "broker" negotiations through an attorney at the bargaining table.

The school board encourages collaboration; yet, sending a "broker" to negotiations prevented collaboration. The school board supports the "Leader in Me" program; yet, sending a "broker" not invested in the success of students made reaching a win-win agreement impossible.

The school board and administration tell teachers how valuable they are; yet, teachers do not see their actions and words matching. If the end the Board had in mind was to improve educator morale, they have not succeeded. JEA members are very concerned over language in the board's proposal negating our right to negotiate policies that impact student learning environments and educator working conditions, some of which have been negotiated since 1969.

A 2011 Dan Jones Survey showed the public favors teachers negotiating their salary, benefits and working conditions. JEA hopes mediation will be more collaborative.

Jennifer Boehme

South Jordan