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D-428 board, DeKalb teachers reach contract deal

Published: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 6:58 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 11:48 p.m. CDT

DeKALB – A tentative agreement has been reached between negotiators with the DeKalb Classroom Teachers Association and District 428, the two sides said Saturday.

Union and school board negotiators were meeting with a federal mediator after earlier contract talks came to an impasse. They said in a joint release that they had a tentative agreement on a three-year contract.

Union members will hold a ratification meeting on Sunday, and school board members have scheduled a special meeting at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at the District 428 Education Center, 901 S. Fourth St., DeKalb. to vote on the pact, according to the press release.

Teachers' union spokesman T.J. Fontana said the union he would have no further comment beyond the release.

The teachers union, which represents about 400 teachers in District 428 schools, filed an intent to strike notice on Aug. 8. Last week, union leaders said teachers would strike on Thursday if they did not have a deal by then.

Key sticking points in the negotiations had been pay and the length of teachers' workday.

n its final offer, the union asked for a 2.12 percent “step” increase in teachers’ salaries for the 2013-14 school year with no increase in the wage scale. In years two and three, teachers want their step increase, plus an increase in the pay scale to be determined by the average of two years’ of the consumer price index.

The wage scale would not be increased for teachers with a master’s degree in 2014-15.

The district’s offer included a pay freeze for teachers in the first year of the contract, with a 2.89 percent raise in the second and third years. The district had also sought to add 45 minutes before and after the school day so that teachers, instead of teacher aides, could assist with bus operations. In the paperwork, district officials said this would increase safety, but the teachers said it would take away from one-on-one student time.

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