Springfield teachers, District 186 reach tentative contract deal (SJ-R.com, 11/17/17)

A tentative agreement has been reached on a new contract between Springfield Public Schools and teachers.

The next step is for the union to vote to ratify the contract. That vote will be held before Monday’s school board meeting, Springfield Education Association President Crysta Weitekamp said.

If ratified, the school board would then vote on whether to approve the new agreement Monday.

As in the past, district and union officials aren’t releasing details of the contract, including its length or cost to the district, until the agreement is approved. Weitekamp said she believed there would be enough support from members, calling it a “good deal.”

Board President Adam Lopez declined to talk about the contract until Monday’s meeting.

Teachers in District 186 have been operating without a contract this school year as negotiations have dragged on longer than normal.

Weitekamp said that was due to the state budget impasse and uncertainty over whether a new funding formula would go into effect.

In February, the district and teachers agreed to a one-year deal covering the 2016-2017 school year that provided teachers with pay increases for longevity and more education. However, the contract did not include bumps in base salary. Teachers initially rejected the district’s offer before signing off in February. Details of the initial contract were not released, so it’s unclear what, if any, changes were made.

There is extra money in the District 186 budget to work with for pay increases.

In September, the school board approved a spending plan that included an $812,312 surplus before contract negotiations with teachers and other unions.

However, that budget did not factor in District 186 potentially receiving an extra $1 million in general state aid, according to some estimates, under the new funding formula.

Full Story: http://www.sj-r.com/news/20171117/springfield-teachers-district-186-reach-tentative-contract-deal