Teachers Pass Tentative Deal

By: Chris Sutter Email
By: Chris Sutter Email

When Lansing teachers learned what was in their tentative contract last week, the mood certainly didn't reflect excitement, but it's safe to say most felt pretty thankful.

They approved the deal by an overwhelming margin this weekend.

"The good news is, it passed and it passed with good support," Lansing Teacher Union President, Jerry Swartz says.

The deal keeps insurance affordable and gives all teachers a half a percentage point worth of a raise, but to say teachers made off well would be a large overstatement says Swartz.

"This isn't a settlement that either side is going to hang their hat on, and say look we did really well," he explains.

But Swartz adds, it is just an indication of the tough times everyone is facing.

"Everyone is aware of the economy in Michigan and the limitations that we are experiencing, and the potential hazard of the future," Swartz says.

Speaking of the future, he says the difficulties experienced this year may just be the tip of the iceberg.

"We've had a tough couple of years and we have a few on the horizon," Swartz says.

He just hopes that in the 18 short months between now and the next contract renewal period, the teachers and school board can get on the same page.

"Look we don't want a war, we don't want a battle over the finances, let's do it together," Swartz says.

He thinks it's the only way to keep the district healthy.

Swartz says the school board will go into a closed session Monday night to decide whether or not to finalize the deal.

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