St. Johns Teachers, Board Reach Tentative Deal

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Just eight days after teachers held an informational picket outside a St. Johns School Board meeting, the district's teachers union and the board came to a tentative contract deal.

"After so long, everybody was in a mood to really finalize it and get it done," Board of Education President Bill Tennant told us by phone.

What the groups "got done" Tuesday night is a potential deal that covers last school year, this school year and the next two years.

Teachers in St. Johns have been working without a contract since the fall of 2004.

Both sides confirm teachers' pay would be frozen for the last school year. Teachers would see a modest increase for the current year.

"There was a center there we all had to move toward and we finally were able to do that," Tennant said.

St. Johns Education Association Vice President Bob Sackrider calls the deal "comparable" with how other teachers are compensated in Clinton County.

"It's not the sort of contract that's going to have anybody doing handsprings," the union vice president told us by phone.

Still, Sackrider says he expects teachers to approve it.

"Our membership, I think, is very reasonable in seeing what the reality of our district's financial state is right now."

Tennant expects the board to do the same.

"It's an agreement I think both sides can live with," he said.

Both sides will have to prove they can live with it, by ratifying the contract.

The board is set to meet Tuesday night.