Dist. 728, teachers to vote on tentative agreement

A lone informational picketer sits through a recent Elk River Area School Board work session after the fire marshal prevented a large gathering around the table. The district and the Elk River Education Association have reached a tentative contract agreement.
A lone informational picketer sits through a recent Elk River Area School Board work session after the fire marshal prevented a large gathering around the table. The district and the Elk River Education Association have reached a tentative contract agreement.

by Jim Boyle

Elk River Star News

 

The Elk River Area School District and the Elk River Education Association have reached a tentative contract agreement.

Members of the teachers union will vote on the tentative pact on June 4. If the contract is ratified by the teachers union, the Elk River Area School Board will vote to approve the new contract at its meeting on June 9 at Elk River City Hall, according to Rod Barnes, the director of labor relations of the school district.

Details of the contract have not been released but are reportedly forthcoming.

Barnes said the teachers were to receive information about the tentative agreement on May 28.

The two sides met unsuccessfully in mediation on May 7. The next available date with the Bureau of Mediation Services mediator was sometime in June, so the school district invited the union back to the table to explore possible pathways to settling the contract, Barnes said.

“Our hope was that we could solve the sticking point in our negotiations (centered around the structure of the 2014-2015 salary schedule) with face-to-face conversation and send our deserving teachers home for the summer with a settled contract,” Barnes said. “We met with the teachers union from 4 to 10 p.m. on May 21. The conversation was productive, and we emerged with a tentative agreement that achieved objectives of both parties.”

The district and the union have notified the bureau that they have reached a tentative agreement.