Members of the Community Unit School District 7 Board of Education on Monday night voted unanimously to ratify a three-year contract with Macoupin County Federation of Teachers Local 528. The action, taken during a special meeting of the board, ends weeks of negotiations that ultimately went to federal mediation.
Under terms of the new contract, local teachers will receive their standard step increase in the first year, along with a salary increase of 1.75 percent in the first year. In the second year, teachers will get their step increase plus a 1.75 percent increase. For the third year, teachers will receive their step increase, plus a raise of 1.75 percent. Union members ratified the agreement prior to Monday night’s meeting.
“The union would like to thank the board and Supt. (Shane) Owsley for reaching out, and their efforts in reaching a contract settlement,” union spokesperson Casey Sholtis read from a prepared statement following the vote. “We look forward to continuing what has been a strong and mutually beneficial working relationship. We appreciate the time that you put in and the sacrifices you make to help improve the district.”
The union rejected a tentative agreement in June, citing the salary increases offered as a “stipend check instead of a raise to the salary scheduled.” Teachers sought mediation after the board offered a one-year agreement last month with a 1.25 percent salary increase with no increase to health insurance costs.
After meeting in executive session for 70 minutes to discuss personnel and the collective bargaining issue, the board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Naritta Forrester as Gillespie Middle School counselor and Brad Snyder as District Transportation Director. Both Forrester and Snyder were hired for their respective positions in June. Both positions were posted as vacant Monday night.
Snyder is the second Transportation Director to resign since former Director Gary Niehaus announced his retirement, effective June 30. The board previously hired Michael Smith for the spot. Smith resigned from the position in April, less than a month after his hiring.
In related action Monday night, the board hired Snyder and Dustin Fletcher as substitute bus drivers, pending background checks.
On a motion by newly appointed board member Jack Burns, seconded by Bill Carter, the board voted unanimously to hire Korben Clark as an assistant high school football coach.