Negotiations with a federal mediator between the Meridian School District and its teachers’ union are on hold because of the U.S. government shutdown.
Anne Ritter, Meridian School Board chairwoman, said talks were to begin on Thursday. She said she tried to contact the federal mediator but the person has not responded. She doesn’t know when negotiations will begin.
Meridian trustees initially ended talks with the union in July when the two sides had not come to agreement on a number of issues, including pay. The board faced a deadline for sending out teacher contracts.
Trustees backtracked after union complaints, saying they would discuss issues that did not have a fiscal impact.
But Ritter said the union wanted to discuss issues such as class sizes and asking the district to help pay the union president’s salary.
The board said it could not discuss those items and the union then asked for a federal mediator, Ritter said.
Union officials say their request for a federal mediator was also made because the trustees wouldn’t negotiate on other issues that didn’t have a cost attached.