Teachers in the Gresham-Barlow School District have ratified a new three-year contract that preserves step increases, but delays the second and third year raises until June 30 each year. The agreement also calls for cutting five school days in both the first and second year of the contract.
Tom Urbanowicz, bargaining chairman for the Gresham-Barlow Education Association, said 98 percent of the union members approved the contract in secret-ballot voting Monday and Tuesday. The contract was also approved by the East County Bargaining Council, a group of several area teacher unions. The contract will be up for approval by the school board today.
“We worked very hard to help the district solve their financial problems without sacrificing the needs of our members,” Urbanowicz said. “It is unfortunate that it took a strike before we were able to reach a settlement.’
The district and the union reached the tentative agreement last week after a three-and-a-half-hour strike.
Superintendent Jim Schlachter said changes in contract language provide the ability to have an aligned calendar that supports school improvement work at all levels.
“This new calendar also supports families as they juggle the schedules of students. For the first time, elementary, middle and high school students will have similar schedules. One hour late start Wednesdays will be used by teachers and support staff to work together to improve instruction,” Schlachter said.