Valley View School Board approves new teachers contract

The Valley View School District Board of Education unanimously approved a new teachers contract Tuesday.

The two-year contract is effective immediately and stipulates a one-time 2 percent salary increase for teachers, as well as an insurance premium hike. Contractual language also allows a "re-opener for salary talks in 2014," according to teachers union president Vickie Sutterlin.

Additionally, the new contract states that the teachers union and Valley View officials have to begin negotiations on the next contract by March 1, 2014, but both sides can begin negotiations earlier, Sutterlin said.

Union and school board parties began negotiating this contract in July 2012, one month before the last contract expired in August. But, contractual bargaining stalled after the teachers union overwhelmingly turned down a deal that was on the table in September 2012.

That deal was rejected by the union by about 92 percent of the 1,800-member union. Both sides then sought mediation, according to Valley View School Board President Steve Quigley.

After months of negotiations, Valley View teachers union ratified a new, two-year deal May 16. The contract was then presented to the Valley View Board of Education Tuesday evening, and all members voted in favor of the proposed deal.

During Tuesday's board of education meeting, Quigley and multiple Valley View board members thanked both sides for their patience, diligence and commitment.

"After almost a year of negotiations, approving the new teachers contracts is a huge step forward," Quigley said. "Both sides negotiated in their best interests and I am pleased that the deal was ratified."