Contract talks civil for Muskegon-area schools

MUSKEGON, Mich. - A number of Muskegon-area districts are in the final stages of contract negotiations, according to The Muskegon Chronicle.

Teachers in Muskegon Heights have worked for two years without a contract, but negotiators are planning to meet for a "marathon bargaining session." Discussion for the district centers around working conditions, but not salaries or other financial issues, The Chronicle reported.

"We just don't have a lot to work with there; they don't have any money," Frank Mongene, Uniserv director for the Michigan Education Association school employees union, told The Chronicle. "It's hard to get something that isn't there."

Contract talks dealing with salaries and insurance in North Muskegon are described by Mongene as "very friendly," according to The Chronicle.

"You can talk about tough stuff and we don't make enemies,"

Mongene told The Chronicle. "It's just a whole different atmosphere compared to other districts in the county."

The Muskegon Chronicle, "Teachers, school districts negotiating contracts," Sept. 5, 2008

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "A Collective Bargaining Primer," Feb. 28, 2007