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Huntley teachers approve new contract

Updated: December 21, 2012 6:20AM

HUNTLEY — Teachers in Consolidated School District 158 approved a new contract with the Huntley school district late Monday afternoon after nearly five months of negotiations.

The Huntley Education Association and District 158 Board of Education had reached the tentative agreement during a five-hour meeting last Tuesday. That came just hours after the teachers union declared an impasse in their negotiations with the district.

“We are definitely relieved and happy that we have a fair contract,” said Julie McLaughlin, co-president of the HEA.

Union members voted “overwhelmingly” for the new contract, McLaughlin said, although she declined to comment on the details of that contract until it is ratified by the school board. The board is set to vote on the contract Tuesday night, she said.

Union members also had voted overwhelmingly in mid-October to authorize union leadership to strike, just days after a similar vote by teachers in Community Unit School District 300, which nearly borders the Huntley district on three sides.

District 158 and its union had been in negotiations since July and agreed to mediation in late September, after teachers rejected a first tentative agreement between the school board and the union.

The Huntley district said the union also rejected a second tentative agreement at that meeting in October. The HEA has said it had not agreed to anything when it took the district’s last offer to its membership before the strike vote, however.

The school board said last week the remaining issues on the table were “primarily compensation.”

Teachers in District 300 now are the last in the Elgin area without a contract or tentative agreement, although both sides continue to negotiate.

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