Now that teachers and officials for Prairie Grove School District 46 have reached a tentative agreement, there's still more work ahead.
The 73 members of the teachers union, Prairie Grove Teachers Association, plan to meet Tuesday, Oct. 16, to hear the details of the contract that was finally accepted by negotiating teams for both sides this past Friday.
The deal was reached at about 4:15 p.m., after the teachers carried out what amounted to a one-day strike.
Classes were cancelled for the approximately 900 students who attend Prairie Grove elementary and junior high, and the teachers hit the picket line -right in front of the school at 3223 Route 176, Crystal Lake.
If the teachers like the four-year contract, which will expire in August of 2015, they must to vote to ratify it on Thursday, the PGTA negotiating team said.
Once teachers have given it their blessing, the Prairie Grove School Board must formally approve the contract as well.
Teachers were seeking a salary rate increase, without hidden step-pay hikes common in many union contracts. Sticking points also revolved around health insurance, extra-pay duty and retirement benefits.
Once approved, the teachers will likely receive payback for any salary increases through the last school year.
The previous PGTA agreement expired in August 2011, and teachers worked all last year without a signed deal. This school year, the teachers have been working under a contract imposed upon them by the School Board in July, the PGTA said.
Bargaining sessions for the contract renewal process began 22 months ago.