Meridian School Board Expected to Approve New Teacher Contract

STILLMAN VALLEY (WIFR) -- After five months of negotiations teachers in the Meridian School Distract should soon have a new contract.

The school board is expected to approve the four year deal on August 28.

The Stillman Valley Education Association and the district have been in talks since early April and reached an agreement in July and on August 13 teachers ratified the contract.

SVEA President Carolyn Timm, stated that, "I am glad the contract is ratified, however, this was certainly not a 'win' for the teachers. While no teacher is excited to take a pay freeze, we understand and know that it was in the best interest of the students, district, and community to do so at this time. The bargaining team worked very hard and very closely with the administration team to come to an agreement that will provide the district with stability. I am personally proud of how our teachers continue to perform at a very high level given the budgetary cuts. Simply put, the education our students are receiving has changed as a result of the financial challenges facing the district. This contract demonstrates that as a bargaining unit we do not want our kids and community to continue to experience such changes."
Meridian Schools Superintendent P.J. Caposey says the district is still struggle financially, so in the new agreement includes no new money to be be spent on salaries this school year.

"The SVEA has been an incredible partner to the district as we struggle through the financial difficulties facing our district together. The SVEA has been or will be on some sort of freeze for six consecutive years during the life-span of this contract. Bargaining is never a fun process, but the mutual interests of both sides were to create an environment in which teachers are valued and the district can be fiscally responsible."Caposey said.

If the contract is approved it will extend through the 2017-2018 school-year.

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