A local school district has officially avoided a teacher strike as the board finalized contract negotiations with a community education association.
After several months of talks, A-C Central School District 262 and the AC Central Education Association, or ACCEA, came to terms on a three-year contract at their final board meeting in late December.
The ACCEA, which represents 40 non-certified staff members within District 262, was initially seeking a wage increase of one dollar per hour for those whom it represents. After meeting for the last time on December 6th, it appeared both sides had come to tentative agreements.
Now, District 262 Superintendent Tim Page says the contract talks have ended on a positive note.
“The Board approved the new contract unanimously on the meeting December 20th, so we have a new contract that is retroactive to the beginning of this year and it is a three-year deal. We’re very happy with the way things turned out,” says Page.
Page says that both the district and the ACCEA eventually compromised on certain aspects of the deal.
“That’s the way it always is, negotiations are the art of compromise and it just took some time to get everybody on the same page, but we ended up getting there. Both sides made some movement and that’s how we closed the deal. We’re very relieved, our job is to take care of kids and now we can focus on those things. I think both sides are pleased with the results and now we can take care of what we’re here to do,” Page says.
The Superintendent explains that, while a new contract has been finalized, both he and the district will continue to meet with the ACCEA throughout the year to ensure that both sides are on the same page.
“We are always working with the (ACCEA). I have meetings with them on a regular basis just to troubleshoot things that come up as they always do from time to time and make sure that everybody’s working together and that we’ve got good communication back and forth. They tell me what the issues are with them and I share my concerns from my side and we’re always working to keep things moving and going as smoothly as possible,” says Page.
With the potential strike now avoided, district faculty members returned from winter break today, with students returning to class tomorrow. The new contract between District 262 and the ACCEA lasts throughout the 2020 school year.