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Union, 109 Add Year to Pact

Special education provisions placed in labor contract for first time.

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).”

John Russillo May 17, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Sorry, I mis-spoke. The contract calls for AT LEAST 2 parents on the committee as non-voting participants. So that's good news that the DEA got that provision in there.
Harry Steindler May 18, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Re: the joint committee: The contract says that the committee can meet and make recommendations during the 2012 / 2013 year. As I read the contract there is no charge to this committee after next school year. Am I misreading the contract? Is the joint committee just a one year deal?
Mara Meyer May 18, 2012 at 01:57 PM
The "Committee" will exist as long as the Superintendent wants it too. With such an absent and naive Board of Education, repeat offense will continue. In addition, curricular decisions and spending as has occurred in the past will continue. This Board needs to go. There needs to be informed and involved community members stepping up for the good of the children and the community! Parents need to be vigilant with their child(ren)'s education. The members of the community, with or without children in the schools, must continue to be vigilant with this Board of Education! The contract is completed, however the work is clearly not finished.
Go With the Flow May 21, 2012 at 04:04 PM
If you read the contract, I would be interested to know why the faculty (teachers and etc.)of 109 did not get retroactive pay for the year (as if it did not count) and only $2000. As I read it, they will be starting next year at the salary they should have received this year. Does that mean that their year did not count? If so, it is technically a three year contract and not four year as they are saying. Also, I don't see any real changes with the special education. It just seems like everything that the parents stated was some how placed in the contract. Curious how does 240 minutes of contact time work? Is that per student, or per case load?
student March 27, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Maybe the parents should be proactive...

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