How mediation works
The mediation process the Union County Board of Education started Tuesday morning is outlined is the North Carolina General Statute 115C-431.
The board of education declared in a statement that the current budget allotment is not sufficient to support a school system.
According to the statute, the Chairman Richard Yercheck and Chairman Jerry Simpson must arrange a joint meeting of their board to be held within seven days after the day of the commissioners’ decision on school appropriations, which was Monday.
Unless the boards agree to jointly select an independent mediator, the senior resident superior court judge will appoint one. The mediator will preside over joint meetings and act as a neutral party while dealing with disclosures of factual informations, statements of positions, contentions and efforts to negotiate and agreement between the boards.
The entire school budget will be considered at the joint meeting. If there is no agreement at the joint meeting, the mediator will begin a mediation within a reasonable period of time. The mediations will be conducted in private and both parties must agree to cooperate with the mediator.
The mediation should not go beyond August 1, however, the mediator has the authority to extend the process if both boards agree. The mediator also has the authority to declare an impasse and discontinue the process. If the mediator declares there is no agreement, the board of education can file a superior court action within five days. The court will then find the facts and decide proper compensation. The decision can be appealed within 10 days.
Both boards will share the cost of the mediator.