Thursday, October 16, 2014 11:48
Teachers, school board have approved new contract effective through 2016–17
The Eugene School Board has approved a 3-year teacher contract agreement that restores school days, increases elementary preparation time, supports special education and provides modest compensation increases. The agreement was reached by the 4J and EEA bargaining teams in late September and ratified by teachers on October 6.
“This is a sensible and fair bargain that sets the stage for long-term success,” said school board chair Jim Torrey, after teachers voted to ratify the agreement. “It restores school days and reinvests needed resources in the classroom, while providing modest salary increases to staff who have had years of stagnant wages. Settling a 3-year contract will allow us to make smart and strategic decisions for the long term, and focus on education rather than on new contract negotiations every year.”
“The school board’s consistent priorities have been to settle a stable 3-year contract that restores school days, maintains or reduces class size, and provides preparation time for our elementary school teachers,” added Mary Walston, bargaining team member and past chair of the school board. “We’ve heard loud and clear from parents and our community that these are the critical places to focus our limited resources after years of budget cuts. Already this year we have hired teachers to shrink some of our schools’ largest classes. This tentative agreement is a strong step toward meeting our other critical goals and improving outcomes for our students. We appreciate the association working cooperatively with us to reach a fair agreement for the good of our students, our staff, and our community.”
The collective bargaining agreement applies to 4J’s teachers and other licensed professionals, such as school nurses and counselors, who are represented by the Eugene Education Association (EEA).