U46, teachers reach tentative pact
By Emily McFarlan firstname.lastname@example.org May 14, 2012 11:26AM
Updated: June 16, 2012 8:08AM
ELGIN — School District U46 and its teachers union have reached a tentative contract agreement — for the second time in the past few weeks.
Both U46 and the Elgin Teachers Association confirmed the tentative agreement in a joint email to school district employees Friday.
The new agreement comes after ETA members rejected a previous agreement last month that would have ended nearly a year of negotiations between the union and school district, their longest-ever negotiations.
That agreement would have affected contracts for 2011-13.
Most notably, it would have created a Transformation Task Force to look at the length and structure of the school day in U46 and present its own plan to transform schools, according to the agreement posted on the ETA website. If that plan was voted down by teachers, the plan to transform the school day laid out in the agreement then would have taken effect in the 2013-14 school year.
That plan also would have extended the time teachers spend each day with students by five minutes for high school students, 30 minutes for middle school students and 20 minutes for elementary school students, it said. It would have brought the time teachers spend with middle school students up to the same amount of time spent with high school students.
No details about the new tentative contract were posted on the ETA website as of Monday morning.
ETA President Kathryn Castle has said the union’s bargaining team knew its entire membership needed to be part of the conversation once the issue of “time” arose in negotiations for the first tentative agreement.
The membership voted down that tentative agreement 1,319 to 673. The union had then surveyed its members for direction before returning to the bargaining table with the school district last month.
Both bargaining teams were to finalize the language of the new tentative agreement Tuesday before presenting it to teachers, according to the email sent Friday.
The ETA and U46 last agreed to a one-year contract in May 2010. The school district is negotiating contracts with all six of its employee unions.