London teachers ratify contract
For The Madison Press
London teachers ratified a contract accepting reductions in salary, insurance benefits and supplemental contracts.
Mindful that the school district faces very difficult economic times, the teachers made a decision to accept reductions and save jobs.
“This is a huge moment for our London community and schools,” stated Vici Geer. “Our schools are on tough economic times and our teaching staff wanted to be a part of keeping our schools as strong as possible. They really care and we worked collaboratively for our students and schools.”
London teachers were already the third lowest paid in the county. With this concession, they will become the lowest paid.
London Education Association President, Ed Maynor said, “The members of the LEA faced a very difficult decision. Surrounded by questions concerning the governor’s budget, changes in STRS, the London Academy, and knowing we had already lost 18 important friends and colleagues, we had to vote on a contract proposal. We voted for our students and not ourselves. We voted for education and not ourselves. These simply are not easy decisions to make. They are indeed questions of character.”
By accepting the contract, the district avoided the loss of approximately 15 additional positions.
“In all the years of negotiating contracts — over 12 contracts, when faced with losing money and benefits or colleagues, the decision of the group has always been to save their individual salaries at the expense of their colleagues and quality education for children. In 35 years, I have never been more proud of a group of educators than I am at this moment,” stated D. Steven Allen, superintendent. “Our teachers recognized the tough economic times facing our schools and they were concerned about maintaining the quality of education for students. They helped save jobs which means keeping teachers in our classrooms for kids which means maintaining the great education we provide here in London. The vote also provided some stability during these precarious times and gave the district needed time to pursue additional revenue.” The district has placed a levy on the ballot in May.
As a next step, the contract agreement will now go before the London School Board. That vote is expected to occur on March 1, 2011 at 7:30 a.m. at the Board Office during a special board meeting.
For more information, contact D. Steven Allen, Superintendent, (740) 852-5700, ext. 201, Vici Geer, London School Board President, (740) 852-4494, or London Teachers Association President, Ed Maynor (740) 852-9345.