We spent this week going over the entire Master Agreement with the agency in order to identify 'clean up' items; the clean-up involved looking for contract language that is outdated and doesn't make sense anymore.
Some of the things we did included replacing all the occurrences of the word 'handicapped' with 'disabled', since disabled is the term consistently used in the law, we did some grammatical clean up, like changing a couple of incorrect uses of the abbreviation 'i.e.' within the Master to 'e.g.' (e.g. means 'for example...', whereas i.e. means 'that is...'), and we made other adjustments based on changes within the agency, e.g., Grand Prairie (see how I cleverly used e.g. right there?).
We ran into a few disputes over whether or not some of the language changes that one side or the other were looking for fell under the category of 'clean up'. The stuff we couldn't agree to as 'clean up', we'll bring back to the table later in formal proposals.
Once the 'clean-up' was done, the agency was offered the opportunity to continue talking with us, to try to resolve more of the contract language with IBB (see my earlier post on Interest Based Bargaining). The agency declined to continue with IBB, so we'll be taking a month or two away from the table to put together our formal proposals.
To see the work we hammered out this week, you can take a look at our 'clean up' notes here.