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home : news : news   April 29, 2016

1/13/2014 8:59:00 AM
Mendota teachers, board get creative, settle contract

Tamara Abbey
Mendota Bureau Chief

MENDOTA — Gavin Glazebrook had to get up and go to school again this morning after the teachers and the Mendota Grade School Board of Education approved a new contract Sunday.

“He didn’t want to go this morning,” said Tom Glazebrook on Friday. “He thought they were already on strike (last week).”

A federally-mediated meeting that started at 2 p.m. Sunday ended with the district’s 80 teachers overwhelming ratifying a three-year contract late Sunday night, long after students were probably in bed.

The news probably made the Kain family happy since they knew the time would have to be made up over the summer.

Casey Kain of West Brooklyn was prepared in case the news went the other way. He had worksheets, books and educational websites bookmarked just in case.

Sarah Henkel, co-president of the Mendota Education Association, said the 11:40 p.m. vote was overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying the latest offer.

“The MEA is relieved that Monday morning instruction is uninterrupted,” she wrote in an e-mail just before the bell rang.

Details of the contract are not known yet, but the two sides were at odds primarily over health insurance costs.

Teachers had been paying a fixed dollar amount for their insurance while the district wanted them to change to paying a percentage of the premium.

Superintendent Kristen School said the contract is retroactive to Aug. 15 and will expire on Aug. 14, 2016.

“This agreement was reached with compromise from both sides,” she said in a press release.

Details of the contract won’t be known until after the school board formally approves it at their next board meeting Thursday.

“It was very creative,” she said. “I think it was creativity that got the two sides together — that thinking outside the box,” School said.

Tamara Abbey can be reached at (815) 539-5200

Related Stories:
• Mendota Grade School teachers to strike Monday

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