London board OKs teachers’ contract

(Posted June 26, 2014)

By John Crutchfield, Messenger Correspondent

The London school board voted June 24 to accept a negotiated agreement with the teachers’ union, the London Education Association (LEA).

According to high school science teacher and LEA president, Todd Boyd, the agreement is an important step forward.

“We are getting back on track as a district,” he said.

In 2011, 30 teachers were furloughed and those who remained took a 3 percent salary cut. In 2012, step adjustments were restored but there were no increases in the pay scale. The new contract provides for a recovery of the 3 percent lost in 2011 and an additional 1 percent in the 2015-16 school year.

Boyd praised the school board, saying, “It was a very cordial negotiation.”

He credits better financial circumstances in the district for the increases but also, “There is a better relationship between the board and the teachers,” he said.

At the union’s June 10 vote, 96 percent of LEA members cast ballots in favor of the contract.

As part of negotiations, the school board also agreed to review supplemental contracts in 2015 and salaries again in 2016. The board will take up the teacher evaluation process in 2015, as well. The new contract takes effect July 1, 2014, and runs through June 30, 2017.

Another aspect of the new contract is that London City Schools will be a “Fair Share” workplace. This means that all teachers, union member or not, will pay an equal share for collective bargaining. Boyd stated that 80 percent of the teachers already belong to the union and that teachers will still have the option of joining. Those who benefit, however, from collective bargaining, will pay the same as LEA members.

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