The bargaining teams of the Oswego Education Association and Oswego Community Unit School District 308 have reached a tentative agreement on all outstanding contract issues late on Wednesday, December 19.
The new contract, once ratified by the union members and the Board of Education, will be effective until June 30, 2015.
Board of Education President Bill Walsh stated the entire Board is pleased that the bargaining team has reached an agreement with the OEA.
“We found common ground and I appreciate the work everyone did to cone to this agreement,” he said. He also expressed appreciation towards the teachers who continued to come to work without a contract the last few months.
“The challenges of paying competitive wages and benefits must be balanced with the unfortunate economic realities directly affecting School District 308. I believe both parties appreciate those struggles. I know this board truly values all employees and appreciates their dedication to provide students the foundation for success in life after District 308,” Walsh said. “I believe everyone is excited to continue to move forward and see the positive developments of the curriculum, as well as other educational programs in the years to come.”
The Board of Education will leave the tentative agreement on its agenda for approval in January. Representatives of the OEA and District will soon finalize the contract and OEA membership is expected to ratify the contract. The OEA represents approximately 1050 teachers. “Thanks to the professionalism and dedication of District 308 teachers, the lack of a contract never interrupted the learning process for the 17,000 plus district students,” said Darla Medernach, Association co-president.
One the main issues in the contract was salary. “We voted it a fair offer,” Medernach said of the salary discussions.
She said everyone came to the meeting with “open minds” and that the groups mediated themselves, which is how Medernach had always remembered it.
“It was very good news to give to [Oswego 308 teachers] before they left for the holidays,” she added.