Champaign Board of Education Ratifies Contract
By: Anthony Pasquale
The Champaign Board of Education unanimously approved an agreement with the Champaign Federation of Teachers on Monday night, according to WCIA.
The two sides have been negotiating for a while, and this agreement rules out a potential strike that we have reported on prior.
This comes a week after the Champaign Federation of Teachers agreed upon the contract. Now that the Board has ratified the deal, the agreement will go into place.
Last week in a press release, Mike Sitch, co-president of the Champaign Federation of Teachers said, “It was a long road to get here, but I’m glad to see that a majority of our members voted in favor of this agreement. We look forward to working with the Unit 4 Board and administration further to best meet the needs of our students.”
The agreement contains an additional $2,500 per year raise for elementary school teachers, on top of the annual 4.25% increase that all teachers get yearly.
Due to the fact that the teachers have been operating for a year without a contract, the agreement is retroactive to July of 2021. Teachers will be receiving pay, with their raises, dating back to July of 2021.
Plus, each school day will have an additional 25 minutes of class instruction and 5 minutes set aside for teacher planning, according to WCIA. That aspect of the proposal has been altered numerous times during negotiations, with the proposal once giving the school day 50 more minutes of in-class instruction.
"That's nothing to sneeze at," said Michael Carpenter, a sixth grade teacher at Jefferson Middle School in Champaign, about the additional time added to the school day. "How do we make those 35 minutes fruitful for them? There will, like with anything in teaching, probably be some trial and error and figuring those things out."
This contract will be in effect through June, 2025.