The District 97 Board of Education, administration and Oak Park Teachers’ Association reached a tentative faculty contract late Tuesday night.

It’s a four-year agreement, the same as the tentative agreement reached in October but later voted down by D97 teachers last month. The latest agreement was reached following a day of negotiations Tuesday.

A vote by the board and union on this latest agreement will occur in January after the winter break.

If the union ratifies the agreement, the school board will likely vote on Jan. 27, to approve it or could schedule an earlier special meeting to take action.

Supt. Al Roberts said Tuesday that he couldn’t talk about the details of the deal until informing the whole board about the agreement. D97 board member Peter Traczyk, who’s one of the negotiators, repeated the same but confirmed it was a four-year agreement like the one from October.

The district released a joint statement from the three bargaining groups Wednesday about the newest tentative agreement: 

During the past few weeks, the Board of Education, district administration and Oak Park Teachers’ Association (OPTA) have been engaged in in-depth and collaborative discussions about potential changes to the tentative agreement we reached in November on a new contract for our teachers. Through these discussions, we believe we have effectively addressed the important issues that members of the OPTA raised regarding the agreement, including those related to the proposed shift in compensation practices.

There are several key tasks we must complete before the contract can be shared with the broader OPTA membership and general public. These tasks include making minor modifications to the draft we created last month, as well as reviewing and finalizing the language and terms of the deal from a legal standpoint. Our goal is to present the revised contract for ratification by the OPTA and approval by the board prior to the end of January.

We realize this process has taken longer than expected. However, we truly believe the time, effort and energy we committed to this critical endeavor has led to the creation of an agreement that will recognize and reward the hard work and tireless dedication of our teachers, contribute to the long-term success of our schools, benefit our community, and, most importantly, help build a better future for the nearly 6,000 students we serve.

Related news:

The District 97 Board approved its intergovernmental agreement with the Village of Oak Park Dec. 16, concerning swapping Madison Street properties in order for the district to build its new headquarters at 260 Madison. The vote was 5-0, with members Peter Traczyk and Amy Felton absent. The village approved the IGA on Dec. 8. The school board Tuesday also approved a 40-year lease agreement with the village to relocate its maintenance operations to the village’s Public Works building. D97 will use roughly 7,600 square feet of space in the building, including 385 square-feet of second-level office space. 

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