Teachers contract comes in under the wire at WDC
Wadena-Deer Creek teachers and the District 2155 school board both ratified a two-year contract last Friday, according to superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom.
Teachers knew the contract was in place Friday afternoon and the school ratified the agreement Friday evening.
"We focused on working with the referendum and we had a late start," Dahlstrom said in explaining why the agreement was not reached until Jan. 15, which was the state's deadline for negotiations. The contract ratification means the district will not be subject to what could have been a fine of approximately $29,000 for missing the deadline.
District 2155 voters passed a 10-year, $800-per-pupil referendum last November. A 2007 school referendum vote was rejected by a 2-to-1 margin by voters.
The contract includes a hard freeze on compensation in year one, with a soft freeze in year two. The contract also includes financial support to create a seven-period day and to do away with the block system in the high school, which had been in place since 1971. This change will allow for more flexibility in scheduling and is intended to result in more teaching time with students. The high school will begin seven-period days at the start of the 2010-11 school year.
Teacher contract negotiations began nearly a year ago as teacher union reps and school board members worked together to come to consensus. On Tuesday, Jan. 12, teachers and school board negotiators met with a Bureau of Mediation Services mediator to review scheduling options for the high school.
The contract, which covers the period between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011, is between Education Minnesota, Wadena-Deer Creek Teachers and the District 2155 board.
Contract negotiations with the WDC support staff are still taking place.