District 155 union ratifies deal

School board scheduled to consider agreement on Tuesday

CRYSTAL LAKE – The District 155 Education Association on Friday ratified a tentative contract with the school board.

The contract will run retroactively from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016, according to a news release.

The vote was 268-114.

School board members are expected to vote on the agreement at their meeting on Tuesday.

The teachers' union did not disclose details of the tentative agreement, and said specifics would be disclosed after school board considers the deal.

“There was a great deal of compromise on both sides in reaching this agreement,” said Justin Hubly, president of the association. “While our membership may not be completely satisfied with the agreement, the ratification vote demonstrates our teacher’s commitment to students in that there will not be a work stoppage over the course of the next three years.” 

School board President Ted Wagner would not disclose details of the contract, but said he expects it to be approved on Tuesday.

"We always hoped we would come to terms," Wagner said. "I think with everybody working together, we've come to a contract that we believe the taxpayers can live with and we believe we're supporting our teachers."

The three-year deal came after 10 months of negotiations. Talks had stalled in the fall over salary and benefit differences.

Both sides submitted final contract offers to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board in early November after formally declaring an impasse in negotiations that began in late March.

The final offers showed the two sides disagreed over salaries, teacher retirement benefits and work loads.

The union proposed an increase to the base salary in year three of the proposed three-year contract, while the district offered lump sum increases to teachers at the top of the experience scale, according to documents posted to the two entities’ websites in November.

The board’s offer also shifted an increasing portion of employee contributions to the Teacher Retirement System to the employees.

Concerned with proposed contract cuts, an overwhelming majority of the District 155 Education Association's 440 members authorized the intent to strike before the impasse. The Crystal Lake teachers' union had never before held a strike vote in its 40-year history.

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