Joint Statement 
Board President Candance Chow and DEC President Paula Zelinski

The District 65 School Board and District 65 Educators’ Council are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement on a new teachers’ contract. This represents nine months of hard work by both teams. After more than 34 hours of marathon bargaining over the past several days, an agreement was reached at around 4am this morning.  

The tentative agreement will be presented and voted on by the DEC membership next week and, upon ratification, will be placed on the agenda for approval by the School Board at their December 5, 2016, Working Board/Finance Committee Meeting. Out of continued respect for the process, details regarding contract terms will be made public following ratification by DEC membership and approval of the School Board.

We would like to recognize the members of both bargaining teams for their ability to collaborate, compromise, and work through the issues that remained on the table. We have a shared commitment to moving our district forward with both sides approaching negotiations with the best interest of our children in mind. As we have both expressed during this process, our teachers’ working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. We feel that the agreement reflects the needs expressed by our teachers and will continue to foster high quality teaching and learning in our schools.

As we approach this Thanksgiving weekend, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for your support and patience as we have worked through the process to reach a fair and equitable agreement.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Candance Chow, School Board President
Paula Zelinski, District 65 Educators’ Council President

Shortly before the joint statement (above) was issued, Dr. Goren and Ms. Chow sent the letter below to staff and parents announcing the settlement:

Dear Staff, Families, and Community,

We are happy to announce that a tentative three-year agreement has been reached between bargaining teams representing the School Board and the District 65 Educators’ Council (DEC). Since Thursday, the teams met for more than 34 hours, reaching a tentative agreement around 4am this morning. With the tentative agreement that was reached, the likelihood of a teachers’ strike has significantly diminished and we do not anticipate any disruption to our students’ learning. 

DEC members are scheduled to meet next week and vote on the tentative agreement. Upon ratification by their membership, the contract will be placed on the agenda for Board approval at the December 5, 2016 Working Board/Finance Committee Meeting. Details of the agreement will be made available after the approval of the contract by DEC membership and the School Board.

By nature, the negotiations process is all about give and take. We could not be more pleased with members from both teams for their willingness to collaborate, compromise, and ultimately, to reach what both sides feel is a fair and equitable agreement. What resulted from many hours of thoughtful discussion is an agreement that reflects a shared commitment to supporting high quality teaching and learning and fair, competitive compensation that both honors our teachers and takes into account the District’s financial outlook. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the bargaining team members for their participation and dedication to the process.

We are extremely grateful for the hundreds of teachers across our district who have devoted their lives to educating our children. There truly is no substitute for a great teacher and we are fortunate to have so many who call District 65 home.

We wish our staff, students, and families a wonderful, restful Thanksgiving break. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday, November 28.

Best regards,

Candance Chow, Board President
Paul Goren, Superintendent of Schools