And in Utah, they are simply bypassing negotiations with the teachers’ union altogether.

That just makes things so much easier for the ed reformistas.

From the Utah News, Utah Teachers Worry About Precedent Set by Ogden District:

Some Utah teachers worry that the Ogden School District is setting a precedent for other districts by skipping negotiations with its teachers union and phasing out pay based on experience.

At least one influential lawmaker says he hopes it will lead to similar reforms statewide.

The district sent notices to teachers last weekend, telling them that it is not negotiating with the Ogden Education Association for a collective 2011-12 contract. Teachers are asked to sign and return an individual contract by July 20 or their jobs will be advertised as open for hire. The district also announced that over the next six years it aims to replace “steps,” the profession-wide standard of giving raises based on years of experience, with merit-based pay.

Ogden teachers feel that their voices aren’t being heard, and, though their union is not opposed to the idea of merit pay, they are wary of agreeing to a system that has not yet been designed. Sen. Howard Stephenson, chairman of the Education Interim Committee, however, applauded the changes Thursday, saying they could help bolster the case for paying teachers statewide based on factors such as how much they improve student performance.

The Ogden Education Association is planning a rally July 14 at Ogden’s Liberty Park on the matter, and the Utah Education Association (UEA) is inviting other local associations and the public to attend, said Mike Kelley, UEA spokesman. The leaders of several local associations said Thursday they and their members plan to be there to support Ogden.

“It makes us very nervous,” Ross Rogers, president of the Canyons Education Association, said of the situation in Ogden.

The district and CEA have been locked in a dispute over whether the district will continue to negotiate some policies that it feels are unrelated to employee compensation. The Canyons teachers union declared an impasse three weeks ago, but the district has invited them back to the bargaining table on Monday, Rogers said. In an email to CEA this spring, Canyons Superintendent David Doty hinted that other policies could become non-negotiable in the future.

What is happening in Ogden, Rogers said, “sets a precedent that we do not want to have in the state.”

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