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 Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: It is rumored in the streets that the 13 negroes sent to Quincy on the Moline quota were refused. We think this must be a mistake.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.






(More History)