Tentative teachers contract reached in Dist. 200

 
 
Updated 6/3/2015 5:33 PM

After nearly five months of negotiations, the Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 school board is set to vote on a tentative three-year contract for the nearly 1,100 members in its teachers union.

The district reached a tentative agreement with the Wheaton Warrenville Education Association -- which represents all licensed educators in the district, including classroom teachers, counselors, social workers, instructional specialists and more -- on May 19. The board will vote on the contract during a special meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the school service center, 130 W. Park Ave., in Wheaton.

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President Bryce Cann said about 60 percent of the association's members agreed to the contract during a vote Tuesday. He said he thinks it is "a fair agreement" and is "cautiously optimistic" that it will be approved and finalized by the board of education Thursday.

"There were changes in the proposal that our members were struggling with," he said in regard to the number of association members who voted against the contract. "Moving forward, I think we can address those needs and those concerns."

A summary of Thursday's action item posted on the District 200 website states that the agreement "addresses staff professional development time, eliminates staff access to the state's early retirement option, eliminates the salary step increment and includes increased staff contributions for health benefits." It also includes a "limited re-opener memorandum," in case of any drastic changes in school funding or revenue.

Additional details of the pact will not be made public until after both sides have approved it.

The board met three times in executive session to examine the language and discuss potential terms of the tentative agreement, which would run through the end of the 2017-18 school year. The current contract expires June 30.

School board President Jim Vroman said Thursday's meeting is an open session and anyone from the public is welcome to attend.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said, adding that he, too, is hopeful the board's vote will "conclude a successful negotiation."

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