Finally, a contract

Opinion: Columns

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Finally after a three-year stalemate, there is a pact between Oak Park's village hall and unions representing some 75 staffers in village government. If your reaction is, "What took so long?" it would not be unreasonable.

The final contract, about 99 percent sure to be OK'd Monday night by the village board, is an entirely reasonable agreement. There are modest — 1.5 percent — annual pay increases guaranteed. And, key to the village's wise long-term goals, there is a small additional merit pay increase available to employees who earn it through performance.

There has been some showboating by new union leadership during this long, frustrating negotiation. Some heels have been dug in excessively on the village's side. That Anan Abu-Taleb campaigned successfully for village president, in part, on the premise that bad staff morale at village hall was a problem and that the points of dispute in this contract were actually very narrow, likely played some role in bringing this overly confrontational negotiation to a very reasonable end.

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