The Alton Education Association has approved a new contract with the Alton School District. The two sides announced a tentative contract last week and the union voted on Thursday to approve the 2-year deal by a narrow margin. The vote avoids a walkout by the union.
The vote in favor of the contact was 251-202, meaning a large number of members were against the agreement. AEA President Brenda Powers said many members are not happy with the concessions but agreed to no step movement in order to keep from having to pay for health coverage. She told the Big Z that at some point the district will have to address the low wages paid to teachers in Alton:
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Powers placed a large chunk of the blame on the overall financial challenges faced by the district with the state of Illinois and its continued cuts to public education funding. The contract covers this school year and the 2016-17 school year. The Alton School Board is expected to approve the deal when it meets on Tuesday.