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Board ratifies tentative contract with teachers union

June 15, 2001|By LAURA MACKENZIE, Staff Writer

In a special board meeting this morning, the El Centro Elementary School District board voted unanimously to ratify a tentative contract agreement with the El Centro Elementary Teachers Association.

The contract, which goes into effect immediately, covers the 1999-2000, 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 school years.

It gives a 4 percent retroactive salary increase for the 1999-2000 school year, a 7.75 percent salary increase for the 2000-2001 school year and a 6 percent total benefits and salary increase for the 2001-2002 school year.

The contract also provides a 1.75 percent increase for three added days to the school year.

The hourly rate was increased to $29.55. Other areas the contract covered included benefits to retirees, contract language and requirements for peer assistance and review.

Bruce Roberts, president of the teachers' association, addressed the board urging it to approve the agreement.

"Today is a long-awaited day," said Roberts.

"The teachers had a unanimous vote on this contract and I beseech the board to do likewise," he said.


He asked the board, "Let the healing begin."

Associate Superintendent Everett "Butch" Taylor, a member of the district negotiating team, also addressed the board prior to the vote.

Said Taylor, "I am very, very pleased to recommend to the board your approval of the agreement with the ECETA."

After the vote, Ron Hull, board president, complimented the negotiators for their efforts.

"Arnold (Preciado) and the negotiating team kept us informed and the information was in front of us all the time. It was an informed decision," said Hull.

"It has been an interesting process," he added.

Trustee Janie Marlborough said, "The statement to ‘let the healing begin' is a telling statement. I'm sorry that there has to be healing."

She continued, "The process was a draining one to all involved: the negotiators, the teachers and the public."

Marlborough added, "I'm just very glad it's over."

Calling it a "trying experience," Trustee Ramona Dillon said, "I'm glad we finally got to this point. Now we can get back to the business of our children, which is the main focus of our being here."

In other business, the board voted to approve a request by the Imperial County Office of Education to occupy and use land at three school sites for a state preschool program run by the ICOE's child development services department.

Staff Writer Laura MacKenzie can be reached at 337-3442.

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