The teachers union for the Evanston/Skokie District 65 schools (DEC) said in a news release Tuesday that it is “pleased” with provisions of the tentative agreement announced by the school board on Monday.
The new four-year contract agreement was reached early Monday between the District 65 Educators’ Council and the board after six months of joint bargaining, assisted by a federal mediator for the last five sessions.
Teachers will get the details on Thursday, when they report for work for the new school year that begins next Tuesday. There will be a secret ballot vote on the agreement the following week, DEC said.
The board is expected to give final approval for the new contract at either its September 10 or September 24 meeting, assuming the ratification by the teachers is in the affirmative.
While details of the contract have not been released, pay was not considered to be a major issue in the talks. Rather, the teachers were upset with the way the administration dismissed some arts and physical education teachers and cut the planning time for remaining teachers in order to maintain the same number of hours of class time.
“DEC is pleased that the new agreement improves several areas of the District 65 learning and working environment,” the release said, “and also provides avenues for making future improvements in additional areas.”
The DEC release stated that the teachers were appreciative of the support of parents and community members during the negotiations, which included rallies at two board meetings over the spring and summer months.
“Those expressions of support have deeply touched us,” the release stated.