Dispute between district and teacher’s union leads to strike

Were one in Lakewood to mention the term “contract dispute,” most might immediately think of a disagreement between two already contracted partners over the execution of their accord. Yet in reality, many contract disputes actually arise during the negotiation phase.

Some may think that if two parties cannot come to terms on a contract that they might simply choose to walk away from the proposed scenario. Yet in cases involving renegotiation (particularly by parties represented through collective bargaining, such as unions), one side may feel compelled to strike.

Fighting for more resources

Such describes the situation occurring in urban Minnesota, where the local teachers union chose to strike after the issues that arose from their over two-year contract dispute with their district remained unresolved. Union members have been asking the district for increased resources (especially resources dedicated to addressing student mental health), yet while district representatives showed a willingness to make some concessions, not enough movement was made towards resolving the dispute. The district had hoped that an offer to take the case to arbitration would help avoid interrupting classes for the more than 37,000 students it oversees, yet that proposal was ultimately rejected.

Coming to a compromise

In cases such as this, it may be easy for those examining from an outside perspective to assign blame for a contract dispute to a single side. Yet there is a reason the development of binding business agreements is referred to as a negotiation. Both sides involved have interests they feel need to be protected (whether those be the extension or expenditure of resources). Such interests may be likely to be better represented if a party to a contract negotiation has the assistance of an experienced attorney to rely on.