GEA Accepts Contract By 52.3%, School Starts Tomorrow - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

GEA Accepts Contract By 52.3%, School Starts Tomorrow

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After two weeks of the strike and hours of negotiations, the school board and the teachers in Galesburg have come to an agreement.

Superintendent Bart Arthur tells us school will start tomorrow.

Students and parents over the last few weeks have been telling us that their kids are ready to go back to school and finally they'll be in class tomorrow, with a 55 minute early dismissal. Pre-K children will start on Tuesday.

Teachers came to Galesburg High School around 8 o'clock this morning and didn't leave until about 2 o'clock this afternoon.

After a 4 year contract was ratified and unanimously approved by the school board, Superintendent Arthur told us that both sides made compromises that they can live with.

The Galesburg Education Association tells us that the contract proposal passed by a slight majority, 52.3% voted "yes". They say they estimate that 400-500 GEA members voted and possibly only 11 votes separated the no's from the yes's.

One of the last standing issues was the recall rights, an evaluation system and RIF-ing procedures for teachers. Superintendent Arthur said the agreement they came to on that issue makes sure they keep the best teachers in the classroom and that their evaluation system helps teachers improve.

"I think the fear of the teachers is that they think we're going to release them because of performance and we want to make sure our principals are skilled at evaluations and actually trying to help those teachers get better," said Superintendent Arthur. "It's not about trying to get somebody or get rid of an experienced teacher because they're paid more."

He said they will have to make some adjustments to their school calendar after the strike, pushing the semester to go past Christmas into January this year.

The Galesburg vs. Moline football game will go on tomorrow night.

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