Teachers in Evanston/Skokie School District 65 reportedly have rejected by a wide margin the tentative agreement their union reached with the school board.

Nearly 85 percent of the teachers voting reportedly rejected the deal.

Union officials have indicated there are no immediate plans for a job action and that the negotiating team will return to the bargaining table in a few weeks. Classes resumed in District 65 Tuesday.

The teachers reportedly were upset at the size of the pay increase the board was offering in return for an increase in the length of the work day.

The board, in a letter dated June 10, over a month before the tentative agreement was reached, said it had offered teachers an average increase of 5.7 percent — 3 percent in base salary and 2.7 percent in experience-based annual step increases.

That was already two percent more than the increase the board had included in its tentative budget which is scheduled for a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 22.

The release of the salary proposal in the board letter also was reportedly a factor in the negative vote by the teachers.

Phone calls to Illinois Education Association officials for comment were not immediately returned this afternoon.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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