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D300 teachers union approves new contract

Updated: January 21, 2013 3:51PM

ALGONQUIN — Teachers in Community Unit School District 300 have ratified the three-year contract that the teachers union and District 300 Board of Education had reached after a one-day teachers strike earlier this month.

That brief announcement came about 8 p.m. Wednesday from Mike Williamson, spokesman for Local Education Association of District 300, following balloting by teachers that took place throughout the day Wednesday.

Williamson said he was unsure what the actual tally of the vote had been. But he said LEAD and the school board would issue a joint statement about the contract after the board’s vote on it Thursday night.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the union spokesman was carrying a stack of ballots to Westfield Community School, he said. Those ballots still were coming in at that hour after the 1,200 members of the teachers union had voted all day in their buildings on the tentative agreement.

The teachers union and school board had reached an agreement on class sizes and teacher salary — two sticking points in negotiations — just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The agreement came after teachers had walked out that morning at 26 schools in the sixth-largest district in Illinois.

In the biggest demonstration that day, about 900 teachers had marched outside the District 300 Central Offices and several schools, chanting and carrying signs, and wearing black “We LEAD 300” T-shirts.

After coming to an agreement on the two points of contention, both sides called off the strike, then continued discussions into early the next morning and again that Friday to work out the remainder of the language, Williamson said at the time.

That process went back and forth by email all last week, Williamson has said.

Both LEAD and the board of education have agreed not to share details of that contract until after it has been voted on by both the union and board.

The school board has scheduled a special meeting to vote on the LEAD contract at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Professional Development Center at Westfield, 2100 Sleepy Hollow Road.

The school board also is to vote on compensation and benefits for the superintendent, administrators and non-union employees at that meeting.

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