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U46 teachers reject contract

Updated: May 14, 2012 8:22AM

ELGIN — Elgin Teachers Association members rejected a tentative contract agreement Thursday night between the union and School District U46, ETA President Kathryn Castle confirmed.

Union members voted 673 to 1,319 against the agreement, Castle said.

That agreement, reached in late March, would have ended the longest-ever contract negotiations between the Elgin school district and its 2,200 teachers.

“We’re very disappointed in this vote,” U46 Chief of Staff Tony Sanders said.

Now, Sanders said, “We need to sit down and talk with the ETA president and leadership and find out what our next steps are.” The U46 Board of Education also will discuss those next steps in closed session Monday, he said.

Castle could not be reached for further comment Thursday.

Those negotiations have been ongoing for about 10 months, the district and its union have said.

During that time, the union has requested a federal mediator. And it staged its first “grade-in” last month, gathering about 115 educators to grade homework, create lesson plans and more in the hallways before a school board meeting at the U46 Educational Services Center in Elgin.

Details of the tentative agreement had not been made public, and contact negotiations between the district and its other unions also continue. That includes its transportation, food service, teachers’ aides, secretaries and custodians unions.

The ETA and U46 last agreed to a one-year contract in May 2010.

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