HOLLAND, OH (Toledo News Now) - On what would have been the day Springfield Local Schools teachers hit the picket lines, they ratified their new contract after almost a year of working without a contract and a year's worth of negotiations.
A potential deal has been reached between Springfield teachers and the Board of Education. Now it's just up to both sides to approve it.
There are 233 members of the Springfield Education Association, and while not every one of them approved of the new contract, majority rules.
"The vote went well, we did ratify the new contract, so we're happy about that," said Marty Perlaky, president of the Springfield Education Association.
Perlaky isn't releasing the details of the contract until after the school board votes on it, but he did say while it is concessionary in areas of healthcare and wages, the teachers are happy with it:
"They're happy that it's just behind us now. As I've said all along, we just want to get back to doing what we do, which is educate kids."
The new contract would be in place until 2013, meaning negotiations will start again in a year. Not getting ahead of themselves, Perlaky is relieved a strike was avoided:
"I can't tell you the number of times today that I actually thought as I was passing out papers or as I was up there teaching that, I could actually be out there walking the picket line today because today would have been the day that we walked out. Just thankful that we were able to pull it all together and come to a consensus between us and administration and get it solved. And we kept everyone in the classroom, that is what is really important."
The school board meets tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., where they are expected to vote on the contract.