Belleville school boards to vote on new teacher contracts

News-DemocratAugust 16, 2013 

Negotiations with teachers are wrapping up in several districts in the metro-east including Belleville District 201 and Belle Valley District 119, according to district officials, while teachers in Belleville District 118 might receive a salary increase.

The Belleville District 201 school board is expected to vote on a new contract with the district's teachers during its meeting Monday night.

Superintendent Jeff Dosier said the teachers union already ratified the contract. Further details regarding the contract were not provided by district officials or union members.

Belleville East High School Library Director Brad Schmidt, co-chair of Local 431 teachers union, described the negotiating sessions with district officials as "very positive.

"We collaborated on a lot of things. I think there was a good sense of working together," Schmidt said. "The state is in a horrible mess, and the district's finances are still in tough shape. We had to do some compromising, but we came up with something that both sides are satisfied with. We're ready for a good school year."

If approved, the new contract would go into effect Sept. 1 and affect 294 teachers.

The school board also will discuss contracts with the district's custodians, engineers and teacher aids. "We hope to have those finalized by the meeting," Dosier said Friday.

The District 201 school board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the district office, 2600 W. Main St., Suite 150.

The Belle Valley District 119 school board is expected to vote on a new contract with its teachers during its meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Louis Obernuefemann said.

Details of the contract can't be made public prior to the board's vote, according to Obernuefemann. The current contract for Belle Valley teachers expired Wednesday.

District 119 school board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the school, 2465 Amann Drive in Belleville.

Despite being in the middle of a three year-contract, Belleville District 118 school board is expected to vote on an adjustment to teachers' salaries at its meeting Tuesday night. Details were not provided.

Superintendent Matt Klostermann said the district received "some additional revenue" from the state in June that it wasn't anticipating.

District 118 school board meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at district headquarters, 105 W. A St. in Belleville.

New teacher contracts also are being negotiated in Brooklyn Unit District 188, Central District 104, Collinsville Unit 10, Columbia Community Unit District 4, East St. Louis District 189, Harmony-Emge District 175, O'Fallon District 203, St. Libory Consolidated District 30 and Triad District 2.

Meanwhile, the Signal Hill District 181 school board has approved a new contract for its teachers, according to Superintendent Suzette Lambert. The new three-year contract includes salary increases for approximately 32 teachers.

"It was the goal of the teachers and (school) board to set a salary schedule, which the previous contract did not have," Lambert said.

Signal Hill teachers will now receive salary step increases based on their years of service and if they acquire advanced degrees.

The new contract also extended a teacher's day by 15 minutes, Lambert said, which allows for 15 more minutes of instructional time for students. "That's very exciting," she said.

O'Fallon District 90 also has reached an agreement with the unions representing its faculty and staff that will retain, at least for the next year, the freeze on salaries and benefits put in place in 2011. In exchange, the new contracts give each certified and non-certified employee a one-time stipend.

Superintendent Todd Koehl explained the two contracts are both two years in length and contain a stipend for bargaining unit members. For the certified staff it is $500; for the non-certified staff it is $200.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or O'Fallon Progress reporter Mark Raeber contributed to this report.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or O'Fallon Progress reporter Mark Raeber contributed to this report.

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