First Teachers’ Strike in State Ends
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ The first teachers’ strike in the history of Arkansas ended Sunday night when the Little Rock school district and its teachers approved a two-year contract.
The 26,000 students in the district, the state’s largest, were scheduled to return to school Monday for the first time since the strike started Sept. 24.
The school board approved the contract unanimously at an emergency meeting shortly after negotiators for the strikers and the district reached an agreement.
Members of the CTA, which represents 1,400 of the district’s 1,650 teachers, approved the proposal less than an hour after the school board did.
″Teachers are jubilant,″ said Grainger Ledbetter, president of the CTA, after the vote. He said the new contract will provide raises of about 11 1/2 percent over the two-year term.
The old contract, which had been extended, expired Sept. 23.
The negotiators said the agreement was worked out between the two sides and was not prepared by federal mediator Harrell Mays, who sat in on talks beginning Saturday.
The CTA had asked for a 10 percent across-the-board raise, giving teachers raises of 12 percent to 15 percent. The board had offered a 6 percent raise this year and a 5 percent raise next year.
First-year teachers now earn $14,327 a year; after 12 years, teachers earn $20,632 a year.