Champaign teachers’ union reach ‘tentative agreement,’ avert strike

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Sydney Laput

Bottenfield Elementary School is one of 12 elementary schools in the Champaign Unit 4 school district. The Champaign Federation of Teachers and district have reached an agreement after the 10-day strike.

By Willie Cui, News Editor

The Champaign Unit 4 School District and the Champaign Federation of Teachers announced on Wednesday that they reached a “tentative agreement for a new, four-year collective bargaining agreement” after the union filed a 10-day strike notice last Friday. 

“The strike is off the table,” said Mike Stitch, co-president of the Champaign Federation of Teachers. “We came to a tentative agreement (Tuesday) night, so we are not planning on going on strike.”

Having reached the tentative agreement early Wednesday morning, the Champaign Federation of Teachers plans to bring its membership next Tuesday for approval and ratification, according to Stitch.

In a press release, the Champaign Unit 4 School District said its board of education “will vote to approve the agreement,” once it has been approved by the Champaign Federation of Teachers.

Although Stitch declined to comment on the specifics of the agreement, he noted that reaching a tentative agreement means “leadership at the union thinks that this is a deal that our membership should take.”

“We think it’s movement enough that we’re endorsing it and we’ll bring it to our membership for ratification,” Stitch said.

This conflict between the Champaign Unit 4 School District and the Champaign Federation of Teachers arose from disagreements over the school districts proposed lengthening of the school day for elementary students.

“At the heart of it, the original tension was around how an extended day should look for students and teachers,” Stitch said.

In a recent proposal, the school district planned to lengthen the school day by 45 minutes, although it said this would only increase instructional time “by 15 minutes,” according to a bargaining update released by the school district on Friday.

 

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