The School District 186 board of education Monday approved a teachers’ contract ratified earlier in the evening by the Springfield Education Association.
The three-year deal got the thumbs up from teachers by a vote of 325 to 176 at Southeast High School.
Most teachers and other SEA members will get a 5% pay bump for 2022-23 and 2023-24 and 4% for 2024-25.
Bargaining team representatives from the district and SEA shook hands on a tentative deal on Oct. 26.
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“It’s a good contract. I’m really proud of everyone who got us here,” said board vice president and bargaining team member Micah Miller.
SEA president Aaron Graves said it was nice for members to have a new contract and some financial security.
Union members, he said, still had concerns about safety and security and class sizes.
“The union members appreciate the district was willing to negotiate forward movement, but at the same time there are a lot of concerns that still exist,” Graves said. “I’m very proud of our team and our membership for really advocating and doing the work they’re doing (to make these concerns) recognized.
“I think the union and district can find a way to move forward together on some issues. That would be my hope. We exist under the same premise, for kids and public schools.”
Superintendent Jennifer Gill said the board’s vote came Monday to get backpay addressed for teachers.
The contract is retroactive to Aug. 17.
“The fact that it’s a three-year agreement allows for our educators and our staff across the district to be able to positively look forward into future,” Gill said, “and know what their planning needs to be, but in addition, it helps our district plan accordingly as well.
Jeremy Menefee, a behavior coach at Jefferson Middle School, said the vote was more than the topline numbers.
“I think there are some conditional things that need to be addressed,” Menefee said. “It’s always more than just about pay.”
Previously:Springfield District 186, teachers’ union again reach tentative agreement on contract
Jerry Lopian, a 16-year veteran of the district and an A.P. World History/World History teacher at Southeast, said going into the meeting issues of safety and security, pay and insurance were on his mind.
“When the district put in the metal detectors, that was a huge relief for us,” Lopian said. “Now, what comes along with that is what every principal would say, that we need more security guards. It’s still a concern of ours.
“I understand the district only has only so much they can dedicate to pay raises. We’re looking for a fair contract. To me (the pay terms) are completely acceptable. I’m all the way across the pay scale, so the raise is nice. Who doesn’t want more money, but I understand both sides of the coin with the district and the members in the union.”
This story will be updated.
Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, email@example.com, twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.