Classified, Board reach tentative agreement

School District 55 classified employees will meet on Sept. 13 to decide whether to ratify a tentative agreement with the School Board’s negotiation team reached on Aug. 23.

The board will likely set a special meeting following the classified association’s to consider whether to ratify the agreement, Business Manager Russell Allen said.

The two groups have been in negotiations for 14 months. The classified association’s five-year contract expired on June 30, 2000. The tentative agreement will last three years, through June 30, 2003.

The two groups met on June 28 and were unable to finalize an agreement, Allen said. “The vast majority of issues were resolved at that time.”

The classified and School Board bargaining teams met again on Aug. 23 for about five hours.

Neither Allen nor Carolyn Wheeler of the classified bargaining team would talk about the details of the agreement.

“It’s gratifying that we were able to come to agreement,” Allen said. “It was an awful lot of give and take through 14 months of bargaining. I’m excited to move on from here.

“The district didn’t get everything they were looking for, and I believe the association would say the same thing that they didn’t get everything they were looking for.”

“It’s certainly not everything we wanted,” Wheeler said. “We kept a couple of things. I’m not sure we gained a lot. We lost some.”