HISTORIC contract

Friday, December 19, 2008
Present at the historic meeting were, from left, Kristen Gold, Cathy Madeo, Kathy Stapleton, Louis Scheuchenzuber, Stan Curtis, Wanda Odum, Mitch Byrd, Patty Hill, Craig Michael, Janet Wiles, Colin Beatty, Nancy Cheatham, Curt Denton, and Miley Durham.

Only ratification by both parties stands between Marshall County and its first-ever contract between teachers and the Board of Education.

In a brief meeting Friday morning, the teams who have been negotiating for the Marshall County Education Association and the School Board met to sign the final pages of the contract they have been negotiating since the end of October.

"Our job now is to sell it to our people," said Kathy Stapleton of the MCEA. The presentation to the teachers is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, in the Lewisburg Middle School auditorium. The teachers who are members of MCEA will vote on the contract on Jan. 12. There will be ballot boxes in all the schools, and then the votes will be counted in front of a neutral observer, in time to have the result by the School Board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 15.

If the teachers have ratified it, and the Board votes in favor, the contract will be in effect immediately and will 0run until June 30, 2011.

Janet Wiles, the budget director, says that the teachers' February paycheck will catch them up on the 2.1 percent pay raise earned since the start of the school year and subsequent checks will be calculated on the revised rate. The teachers will get the $150 one-time payment before April 30.

Wiles said they found the money for the one-time payment by not filling the attendance supervisor position, plus the savings from not running the buses on abbreviated days, and from the savings created by the moratorium on out-of-state travel.

"Let's get the news out we're ready to move forward," said Dr. Stan Curtis, Director of Schools, who attended the meeting in his special Christmas-print Hawaiian shirt.