The contract ending between and the was unanimously approved by the 109 Board at a special meeting Monday after it was ratified by the union May 4.
With both sides seeking extended labor peace, the parties added an additional 12 months to the normal three-year length of past contracts.
“We added a fourth year,” Board President Ellen London said after the meeting. “We did it so we could have two and a half solid years,” she added referring to the nearly nine month long negotiation over the new pact. The new contract will run through the 2015 school year.
The teachers have worked nearly the entire school year on an expired contract. The new agreement is retroactive to the date the previous bargain expired. Superintendent Renee Goier was pleased with the final result.
“I want to compliment all the people on both sides who accomplished one of the greatest things in my 40 years working with students,” Goier said after the vote.
, who did not attend the meeting, was happy with the results as well. He was especially pleased with the provisions surrounding teacher evaluations and special education.
“The special education committee will let the teachers and administration work together for the special education students of Deerfield,” Jensen said to Patch Monday night. “It is very good we’ll have input from the teachers.”
Steve Schwartz, an 11-year member of the Board, was part of its negotiating committee for the third time in his tenure. It was the longest bargaining process and the first involving special education.
“There were some issues that were very current,” Schwartz said of special education. “This became a good forum for it. The board heard people and we took action.” More than an hour of every board meeting from October through April was devoted to public comment, much of it from special education parents.
Though the talks continued longer than any during Schwartz’s tenure, he credits the creation of smaller groups to deal with specific issues with breaking the logjam.
“The small groups helped a lot,” Schwartz said. “At first we met with all members of both teams. When we broke into smaller groups we started talking (more specifically).”