Paris School and teachers reach contract agreement

Paris School and its teachers union have reached an agreement on a contract that will freeze the teachers salary schedule for the two years of the contract and and have them begin to contribute to the cost of health benefits.

Here is a statement released by the district and the teacher’s union:

The Paris teachers and the Paris Board of Education reached a tentative agreement on the 2009-2011 contract after several hours of mediation on Nov. 30, 2010. This settlement concludes a lengthy and challenging bargain, during which time teachers worked under the terms and conditions of the expired 2007-2009 contract for nearly eighteen months.

The terms of the agreement included several major economic concessions for the teachers of this small Kenosha County school district. Along with accepting a salary schedule freeze for each year of the contract, teachers at Paris will now contribute to their health insurance. Other key aspects of this settlement include moving teachers to a four-tiered drug card and increasing out of pocket payment on emergency room visits.

“I would say that this was one of the most difficult bargains I’ve faced,” commented Rick Moore, executive director of Southern Lakes United Educators, who represented the teachers in the bargain. “Given the notable differences between the parties at the start of this bargain, it took a lot of give-and-take between both parties to reach a fair and responsible settlement. I credit the members of both bargaining teams for persevering to find an agreement that was acceptable.”

Paris District Administrator Roger Gahart added, “I think it all came down to the mutual respect between the teachers and the board that enabled everyone to find the common ground needed to reach a settlement. Our teachers believe in Paris and our board values the quality work performed by our teachers.”

These negotiations were loaded with extra meaning for the district and teachers due to the financial troubles the district has faced in recent years, even bringing the district to the brink of dissolution. School Board members, reacting to demands from  the public, had stated they would be working for significant cost reductions in these negotiations. The Paris Town Board also had placed the condition of seeing significant reductions in cost from these negotiations as a condition for considering helping the district financially, such as contributing to the foundation formed to support the school.


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