Chesterton Tribune



Duneland School Board ratifies 1-year teacher contract

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Whatever tension there might have been between the Duneland Teachers Association (DTA) and the Duneland Schools administration and School Board during recent contract negotiations was gone and the air cleared, when the board voted unanimously at a special meeting Monday night to ratify a new agreement.

That one-year agreement, retroactive to Aug. 1 and expiring on June 30, 2017, provides for an increase of the starting base salary to $39,000 as well as for raises amounting to approximately 6 percent for the rest of the DTA members, Superintendent Dave Pruis said.

A tentative agreement was reached between the DTA and Duneland Schools administration on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 28, Pruis said.

The DTA membership then ratified the tentative agreement after school on Friday, by a 183-2 vote. “There was overwhelming teacher support” for the new contract, DTA negotiator and Chesterton High School history teacher Bob DeRuntz told the Chesterton Tribune.

A last-minute closed session, at which administrators and School Board members met with the DTA negotiating team, did delay the start of Monday’s special meeting by half an hour. No one, however, subsequently mentioned the delay or alluded to the subject of that closed session.

Prior to the School Board’s vote, DeRuntz took a moment from the floor to thank both the administrators and board members. “We want to express our gratitude to the administration and the School Board for recognizing the excellence and value of the teaching staff,” he said.

“We appreciate very much the time and hard work the members of the bargaining association have put in over the past few weeks,” Pruis said in turn.

Member Kristen Kroeger, for her part, said that the School Board only ever wanted the same thing the teachers did. “You don’t need to look very far, as close as this board, to see your biggest supporters. We understand the value you bring to the school corporation. We’re your biggest fans. And we want you to be happy with what’s been done.”

The DTA’s old seven-year contract expired on July 31.



Posted 10/4/2016




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