Champaign Support Staff Reach Tenative Agreement With Unit 4
Champaign Unit 4 schools has reached a tentative agreement with its support staff, which includes more than 500 custodians, mechanics, secretaries, and bus drivers.
In a statement, district spokeswoman Stephanie Stuart said Champaign Educational Support Professionals will take their plan to membership for ratification.
"The Board commends the CESP leadership team for their commitment to the process and to reaching a fair agreement that honors the work of our support professionals," she said.
The union had reached out to a federal mediator following last week’s 7-hour negotiating session.
The two met again late Wednesday afternoon, and the agreement was announced at 6 p.m. Union Spokesman Steve Pease said the request for the mediator was done as a precaution, in case talks broke down last night.
The union represents more than 500 bus drivers, custodians, mechanics, secretaries, and others. The two sides have been working without a contract since July 1st.
Union members have ratified a new three-year contract for nearly 500 support staff in the Champaign School District --- and the school board will take its vote Monday night.
The three-year contract was ratified by members of the Champaign Educational Support Professionals union Thursday night. Union President Mary Logsdon says many members weren't happy with the agreement. But she says it's the best that could be done, considering the economy and the state's fiscal crisis.
"I mean it's a hard time to negotiate right now", says Logdson. "I feel like what we were able to do, I'm pleased with. You always want more, but like I say, with the times the way they are, I felt like we did pretty well by our membership."
Logsdon declined to give firm details prior to the school board's vote. But she said there was at least one bright spot --- pay for teaching assistants.
"We were concerned about our teaching assistants, with their pay parity with other districts, and we were able to improve upon that", says Logdson.
The contract also covers custodians, food service worker, bus drivers and other non-teaching jobs in the Champaign Unit Four District. The old contract expired June 30th.