``They are not bargaining in good faith,'' said Sultanik, adding that the school board might file with the state Labor Relations Board in the next two to four weeks. ``The school board is disappointed in the union leadership in taking this tack.''
The union has sought the intervention of a state mediator, president Bill McGill said, because of the board's refusal to continue negotiating.
McGill said he disagreed with Sultanik's characterization of the union's proposals, but he declined yesterday to discuss specifics, saying he first wanted to consult with the full union membership in meetings scheduled between now and March 18.
In a written statement yesterday, the union said, ``When the board responded to PVEA's modest initial proposal with a radical contract-stripping proposal, PVEA responded with its own radical proposal to counter the board's.
``We are very early in the process,'' the statement continued. ``Those who know negotiations will recognize this as normal bargaining procedures.''
In a six-page news release also sent out yesterday, Sultanik said the union made an initial offer Dec. 8 calling for an ``increase in compensation'' of 10.5 percent in the first year, 4.64 percent in the second, and a salary increase of 4.5 percent in the third.
The board made no salary offer at that time, Sultanik said, because of the union's request for bonuses of $3,000 in addition to salary increases.
Last Tuesday, the union removed the request for bonuses but asked for a higher salary increase - at least 7.5 percent a year in each of three years of the contract, Sultanik said.
The union also asked for a reduction in workdays from 192 to 188, although the school board had proposed a 13-day increase, Sultanik said.
``We feel we are worlds apart,'' said School Board President Randy Riegner. ``We hope the teachers' union will come back to us with a more reasonable offer. If they don't, we have nothing to talk about.''
Currently, the district's teachers have a maximum salary of $70,559 and a starting salary of $32,459. The average salary is $52,377. The district last negotiated a contract in 1993, extending it twice, most recently two years ago.