The board came under much criticism and scrutiny from the teacher’s union and parents after the union declared an impasse and made a petition demanding that contract mediations be resolved after negotiating for more than five months.
The contract approval was resolved in a special two-hour meeting behind closed doors, according to a statement made by APS.
The approval will provide the biggest pay raises to date for APS educators and councilors.
APS Superintendent Scott Elder thanked the APS board for its diligence and ultimate approval of the new teacher contracts as well as the district’s teachers.
“I hope every employee in the district knows how grateful we are for their hard work, dedication and resiliency. The board’s action tonight reflects our appreciation and support for the work carried out daily in our classrooms by every professional who contributes to the education of our students. We know how stressful this situation has been. It’s good news that we can move forward with the common goal of creating the best school district possible for the students we serve,” he announced in statement.
The board originally tabled the contract approval to “clarify concerns” and “moving forward, the board will be working closely with the chief negotiator to set clear priorities. The board agrees with the collaborative process, knowing it will not always be easy and at times messy.”
The board also said members always fully supported the wage increases.
“The BOE is charged with setting educational strategy for the district in order to bring about the progress we all want and need,” a statement from the APS board reads.
In an announcement of celebration made via social media, the ATF thanked everyone from teachers to board members and the community that supported the union by signing their petition and more.
“THANK YOU, ATF Members, for signing our petition, writing personal letters, and wearing red on Wednesday in solidarity. We blew up social media with your amazing photos and solidarity. THANK YOU, Board members Yolanda Montoya-Cordova, Barbara Petersen and Josefina Domínguez, for your unwavering respect and support. THANK YOU to all community groups and community members who stood by us during this struggle. You made a major difference in the fate of our fight.”