Teachers, District 23 reach tentative deal to end strike

  • Signs of picketers taking a break sit in a pile during the second day of the Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 teachers strike. Officials in Prospect Heights District 23 announced Saturday that the board and the union have reached a tentative contract settlement.

      Signs of picketers taking a break sit in a pile during the second day of the Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 teachers strike. Officials in Prospect Heights District 23 announced Saturday that the board and the union have reached a tentative contract settlement. Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 9/26/2015 8:04 PM

The Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 school board and its teachers union have reached a tentative contract agreement that could end a seven-day teachers strike and return students to classes Monday.

After a bargaining session that lasted through much of the night Friday, both sides announced about 6 a.m. Saturday they had reached a tentative, four-year deal. The union will vote on the proposed contract noon Sunday. The school board plans to follow suit Tuesday night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

School board President Mari-Lynn Peters would not comment Saturday on the terms of the proposal until the board's vote Tuesday.

"We're happy to have an agreement," she said.

Union President Bob Miller and spokesman Dan Perillo did not immediately return requests for comment Saturday.

If the union ratifies the contract, employees and students will return to school on Monday, a joint statement on the district's website read.

The walkout began Sept. 16, keeping 1,500 students from Prospect Heights, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect and Wheeling out of class at four schools.

On Friday night, the two sides still were at odds. The union proposed a three-year deal that would include roughly 4 percent pay raises for all teachers annually, Peters said.

But the school board rejected it and continued to stick by its "best and final offer" -- raises between 2 percent and 3.75 percent each year of a four-year deal -- despite the union's strong opposition to it earlier in the week.

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