East Moline schools, union reach contract accord


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Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2013, 10:48 pm
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By Sarah Hayden, shayden@qconline.com
EAST MOLINE -- A collective bargaining agreement with the East Moline Education Association was approved by school board members on Wednesday.

District teachers had worked without a contract for nine months, using the terms of an expired one-year agreement, said superintendent Kristin Humphries.

The board quietly and unanimously passed the new four-year agreement after a closed session. Absent were the crowds of angry teachers who wore red "EMEA Unity" T-shirts to the past two school board meetings.

The new pact gives teachers step raises based on longevity, retroactive to the start of the school year. The previous one-year contract had removed those raises.

Teachers will receive two longevity step increases in the 2013-14 school year, followed by single longevity step raises in each of the next two years. In return, EMEA members lose the district's 3.25 percent contribution on their behalf to the Teachers' Retirement System. Mr. Humphries also said there will be no other percentage raises.

"It came down to cooperation and being able to come together," he said. "We wanted a win-win situation and this really works for both sides."

He said the four-year contract lets the district plan better for long-term goals.

EMEA co-president Steve Miller said the union approved the agreement with exactly a two-thirds majority, although a simple majority of 50 percent plus one was all that was needed.

"I think, in the end, the board and the EMEA really came together to do what was best for the board, the district, the union, the taxpayers, and most of all, the students," he said. "It's always about the students; that's what we push for."

EMEA co-president Laura Kalman said she wasn't shocked union members didn't approve the agreement last month. Teachers felt they weren't being justly compensated, she said.

"You have to negotiate for the greater good," said Ms. Kalman. "It was a learning experience for both sides. Ultimately you have to cut through everybody's agenda to find what's best for the students, teachers and the board."

The board on Wednesday also approved a 2.7 percent increase for administrators -- excluding Mr. Humphries -- and all groups not covered by the EMEA agreement, effective on July 1, 2012.


















 



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  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.






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