By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chelsea Board of Education ratified a new contract with the Chelsea Education Association (CEA) on Nov. 5.
Negotiations have been ongoing since last fall, the last contract between the Chelsea School District (CSD) and the CEA ended on June 30, 2018.
On Oct. 23, progress was reported from both sides, with more negotiations scheduled for one week later, Oct. 30. On Oct. 30 a tentative agreement was reached.
“We really were able to close that gap,” said Superintendent Julie Helber after ratifying the contract on Nov. 5. “It was a long night, we went back and forth and really worked hard together and both sides compromised, and we were able to come up with something. We’re really happy about that.
On Nov. 5, a special board meeting was scheduled to be held at the Superintendent’s Office, while the regular Board room prepared for the Nov. 6 vote, to vote on ratifying the new contract with the CEA, pending the CEA approval from their members.
Board member Dana Durst made a motion to ratify the contract, supported by Laura Bush, for the 2018-2020 tentative master agreement between the Washtenaw County Education Association/Chelsea Education Association, MEA/NEA and he Chelsea District Board of Education that was executed and signed by both parties on Oct. 30.
The vote passed 4-0 with Board President Anne Mann and bard member Greg Rhodes abstaining. Board member Tammy Lehman was absent.
The CEA released a statement shortly after the vote: The Chelsea Education Association has voted to ratify a new contract that will be in effect until June 2020. Once the Union accepted the agreement, the Chelsea School District Board also voted to enact it. This process began more than a year ago, with the first meetings between the CEA and CSD lead negotiators happening in October 2017. After tireless work by the Union bargainers and the support of the larger Chelsea community, the teachers appreciate the Board’s willingness to return to the table to get an agreement before a Fact-Finding hearing had to begin.