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Union OKs teacher contract; DeKalb school board to vote next

School board to take up teachers’ new contract at Tuesday meeting

DeKALB – The DeKalb Classroom Teachers Association ratified a contract that District 428 school board members will consider at a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday. 

Members of the DeKalb Classroom Teachers Association held a meeting Sunday to ratify a contract that lists their terms and conditions, said T.J. Fontana, the teachers’ union spokesman. Fontana said he would not be able to discuss the details of the meeting until Tuesday.

“We’re going to hold off on that till the board has their meeting,” Fontana said. 

He said there was a quorum for the vote to ratify the contract. 

On Saturday, negotiators with the teachers association and District 428 had reached a tentative agreement.

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. 

School board members have scheduled the special meeting for 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. 

The roughly 400-member teachers union had filed an intent to strike notice on Aug. 8. Last week, union leaders had said teachers would strike on Thursday if they did not reach a deal by then. 

Key sticking points in the negotiations had been pay and the length of teachers’ workdays. 

In 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 master’s degrees 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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