The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education Monday night…after months of negotiations and the public posting by the union of a notice that serves as the official prelude to a strike…unanimously ratified the terms of a contract that had already received an 85 percent favorable vote by the teachers last Friday.

The three-year contract replaces a four-year pact that expired in August before the current school year began.

Both Board President Candance Chow and Superintendent Paul Goren said they were pleased with the results of the talks and thanked the teachers for their recognition of the financial realities facing the district.

Goren noted that increases in the base salaries in the second and third year of the contract were tied to the amount of increases in the Consumer Price Index, which also forms the basis for increases in the property taxes that are the major funding source for the district.

Paula Zelinski, president of the District 65 Educators’ Council (DEC), said the 85 percent margin by which the contract passed in the vote by the teachers was an indicator of the degree to which the teachers were pleased with the final result.

In the latter months of the negotiations, union officials had complained that the talks were dragging, due primarily, they surmised, to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the board and administration.

Shortly before DEC’s “public posting,” which starts the clock on a series of procedures required by law before the union can officially call a strike, the board had agreed to DEC’s request for employing the services of a federal mediator, but after the posting, negotiations took a more urgent tone.

The final agreement was drafted at about 3 a.m. on Nov. 21, and the final text was voted favorably by DEC members Friday afternoon, 579 in favor and 101 against, followed by the board’s ratification Monday night.

Details of the agreement were withheld from public review until after Monday night’s board vote.

Related story:

No strike! Teachers ratify contract with D65 board

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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