PCEA nominates two veteran teachers | ParkRecord.com

PCEA nominates two veteran teachers

Megan Yeiter , The Park Record

The Park City Education Association elected Park City High School teachers Ed Mulick and Jim Fleming to take the Association’s reigns as co-presidents after present PCEA President Heidi Matthews’ term is up at the end of this year.

Fleming has worked in the Park City School District for 24 years, with 18 of those years spent at the high school along with colleague, Mulick, who has been teaching there for 22 years.

Both Fleming and Mulick understand the circumstances they are stepping into as Association presidents. In an interview with The Park Record, Mulick said they want to focus on mending the relationship with the school district and building up teachers’ morale.

"Right now we’re stepping into a political situation. The relationship between all the stakeholders is not all that it has been and it’s a strained relationship," Mulick said. "We have some experience with how things have to be and how they were, and we’ve seen the direction for a long time and I think we were able to offer good perspective."

According to Fleming, both teachers have benefited from the Association for a long time and they thought it was time to give back. Because "release time" has not been funded for the last two years, they plan to restructure the Association and designate tasks to other members. "Release time" is paid time off that used to be granted to the president to focus on the Association duties.

Mulick said he’s also working on a multi-year contract to be discussed during licensed employee negotiations. He said they have a long way to go, but everyone is moving in the same direction.

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"I feel like having that process of negotiating for your salary year after year creates a tough climate to work in. It’s almost a year-round process," Mulick said. " using a multi-year contract and maybe looking three years out, we can work toward having those common goals. The teachers realize the economic situation we’re in right now. We’re willing to take part in that sacrifice."

According to Fleming, if negotiation teams haven’t settled by the end of the school year, they will take a break for the summer and resume negotiations in August.

"To try to balance the budget in one year, something that has been happening over three years, on teachers backs, that’s difficult," he said. "Anytime where you are dealing with a multi-year contract there are more issues."

Mulick and Fleming said salary freezes might be in order for the first year to help re-build the district’s reserve fund, and then the second year the district and teachers could start looking at reducing some of the class sizes that have been increased.

The two officially took over on May 31, and will serve a two-year term.