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Sycamore teachers, District 427 will consider new collective bargaining agreement

July 30, 2018

SYCAMORE – The District 427 school board could approve a new collective bargaining agreement with its teachers union at a special meeting on Tuesday, but details of the pact have not been made public.

The agenda for the 5:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting at the Administration Building, 245 W. Exchange St., says the approval of the agreement between teachers and the district will be considered after the board meets in closed session.

The district last year reached a one-year agreement with its teachers that called for a salary freeze for the 2017-18 school year. That agreement will expire in mid-August, district Superintendent Kathy Countryman has said.

The agenda release comes after teachers’ union members and district officials considered a new contract bargaining approach called affinity economic bargaining, which is meant to take issues related to economics and turn it into a collaborative brainstorming session between the employer and union.

In affinity economic bargaining, the employer proposes what they think the union will like and the union proposes what they think the employer will like. From there, both parties create a tentative agreement in a few hours instead of during several sessions.

Tentative terms of the new proposed agreement, including its length, any pay increases or how benefits may be affected, have not been made public.

Countryman and Chief Financial Officer Nichole Stuckert could not be reached for comment Monday.