District 65 teachers, board reach tentative agreement on contracts

Nora Shelly, City Editor

The Evanston/Skokie District 65 Board of Education and the District Educators’ Council, which represents teachers, have reached a tentative agreement Monday afternoon on teacher contracts.

Superintendent Paul Goren and Board President Candace Chow announced the development in a statement saying the two sides negotiated for 34 hours during the weekend and reached the agreement at 4 a.m. this morning.

The tentative agreement is for a three-year contract. The council had originally advocated for a one-year contract, while the board insisted on a four-year term. Other details will be made public after the contract is agreed upon by council members and voted on by the Board, according to the statement.

This move follows months of back-and-forth over the contracts. Teams from both sides began negotiating in February. In early October, a federal mediator was called in to help with the talks. Earlier this month, the Council announced they were activating a strike timeline, meaning the offers from both sides were posted online and the teachers would have the ability to strike after a matter of time.

According to the statement, the possibility of a strike has “significantly diminished” due to the tentative agreement.

Goren and Chow said in the statement they were pleased with the developments.

“What resulted from many hours of thoughtful discussion is an agreement that reflects a shared commitment to supporting high quality teaching and learning and fair, competitive compensation that both honors our teachers and takes into account the District’s financial outlook,” they said in the statement.

In a joint statement, Chow and Paula Zelinski, the president of the District Educators’ Council, said the agreement reflects the needs of the teachers.

“As we have both expressed during this process, our teachers’ working conditions are our students’ learning conditions,” they said in the statement.

Council teachers will decide on the deal next week. If it is approved by them, the board will vote on it at their Dec. 5 meeting.

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