ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Teachers accept contract

After six months of discussion, contract negotiations between the Superior school district and Superior Federation of Teachers - Local 202 are moving toward a close.

After six months of discussion, contract negotiations between the Superior school district and Superior Federation of Teachers - Local 202 are moving toward a close.

Members of the teachers union voted Tuesday and Wednesday to accept a contract for the coming year. The Superior School Board now must vote on the contract before it can be ratified.

The board is scheduled to hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The meeting will begin in closed session, but it must be open to the public before board members take a vote.

Following last year's lengthy negotiations, both the union and district hoped for a smoother process this time. Talks ground to a halt in 2009 after the parties reached tentative agreement in the spring, only to see everything unravel with the release the state's budget estimate. Because of cuts in funding, the Superior School Board told union members it could no longer offer the one percent salary raise previously discussed. Without the raise, all offers were pulled from the table and negotiations began anew.

Teachers started the school year without a contract, and the school calendar was not released until October, when both sides agreed to a one-year contract.

ADVERTISEMENT

The district seemed anxious to avoid a similar situation during the most recent negotiations. Last year, the district and teacher's union sparred over the proposed addition of three more staff development days to the calendar. The subject was not raised this time around, said Superior superintendent Janna Stevens; and although the contract is not yet ratified, both sides agreed to the calendar for the 2010-11 school year.

The calendar, released this week, has few changes. Winter break will be a few days shorter, Dec. 22-31, but the school year will also end sooner, June 8 instead of June 10. The number of staff development days remains at five for the 2010-11 year.

The district is now moving quickly to wrap up the remainder of the negotiation process with the teacher's union.

When talks began in November, school board member Mary Klun, chair of the personnel and negotiations committee, said items like salary and benefit increases would likely be put off until the district had a clear idea of its expected state funding. That plan changed when the state announced it will not release budget estimates until July this year, about a month later than usual.

Rather than wait for the school board's regular meeting in June, the district chose to call for a special session on May 27 to vote on the Local 202 contract. Both Stevens and union representatives declined to comment on details of the contract at this time.

Related Topics: SUPERIOR
What To Read Next