Eugene 4j teachers ratified a tentative three-year contract Monday night. It now goes to the 4j School Board for final approval. Mary Walston, a past board chair and bargaining team member, says the Board will vote on the contract at its October 15th meeting:
Walston: "It includes a modest increase for staff in terms of cost-of-living and step increases. They'll be some health benefit increases in the second and third year."
Contract benefits to the larger school community, Walston says, include restoration of a school day in the first year, a full school year without any teacher furlough days in the third and support for special education. It also restores elective classes which Tad Shannon, Eugene Education Association president, says has a triple benefit:
Shannon: “It's good for kids. They get the enrichment. It's good for those specialists, and it's good for those elementary teachers who gain prep time when their students are with music, P.E. or art teachers."
Will the board approve the contract? Again. Mary Walston:
Walston: “Oh,I think the chances are quite good. We are eager to settle this and move on to other things that are on our agenda."
Those 'other things' include selection of a new superintendent. Walston says the board is expected to choose a search firm at its October meeting from four firms that have been interviewed. A new superintendent is due to be named by the end of March.