Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

September 25, 2013

Altamont board, teachers reach agreement

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

ALTAMONT — With only hours left before a possible strike, Altamont School Board and Altamont Education Association reached a tentative agreement Wednesday.

After a three-hour negotiation meeting, the school board and teachers reached a one-year agreement, which board President Jim Holland said will allow school to continue as usual Thursday.

While details of the agreement are not being released at this time, Holland said issues, such as teachers' raises and prep times, were ironed out during the meeting and discussion was amicable on both sides.

"I think it went very well, to be quite honest," he said. "There's some stuff we got put behind us, and that's beneficial."

Both sides are scheduled to ratify the agreement at the board's next regular meeting in October. AEA President Mike Delaney said ending the negotiations will take undue stress off of teachers and the board.

"It was a stressful time, and I'm glad to be able to put this behind the negotiation teams for both sides," he said. "The board are all volunteers and the teachers on the negotiation team are volunteers, and this is stressful for everyone. I'm glad to put this behind us and be back in the classroom educating kids like we need to."

Holland said he was also happy to see negotiations end for the benefit of all sides.

"I'm just glad it's behind us for the students and the teachers and us and everyone involved," he said. "We've got a one year (agreement) and that was great to see."

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or at jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.