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Local

Sycamore teachers, District 427 will consider new collective bargaining agreement

Collective bargaining agreement might be approved after board’s executive session

Sycamore School District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman (left) and Randy Larson, a commissioner for Rockford-based Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, change PowerPoint presentations during a May 8 District Board meeting about affinity economic bargaining in Sycamore.
Sycamore School District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman (left) and Randy Larson, a commissioner for Rockford-based Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, change PowerPoint presentations during a May 8 District Board meeting about affinity economic bargaining in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore School District 427 Board could approve a new collective bargaining agreement with its teachers union at a special meeting Tuesday, but details of the pact have not been made public.

The agenda for the 5:30 p.m. meeting at the Administration Building, 245 W. Exchange St., said the approval of the agreement between teachers and the district will be considered after the board meets in closed session.

The district last year reached a one-year agreement with its teachers that called for a salary freeze for the 2017-18 school year. That agreement will expire in mid-August, District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman has said.

The agenda release comes after teachers’ union members and district officials considered a new contract bargaining approach called affinity economic bargaining, which is meant to take issues related to economics and turn it into a collaborative brainstorming session between the employer and union.

In affinity economic bargaining, the employer proposes what they think the union will like and the union proposes what they think the employer will like. From there, both parties create a tentative agreement in a few hours instead of during several sessions.

Tentative terms of the proposed agreement, including its length, any pay increases or how benefits that may be affected, have not been made public.

Countryman and Chief Financial Officer Nichole Stuckert could not be reached for comment Monday.

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