Springfield Local School Board approves contract

HOLLAND, OH (Toledo News Now) - In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Springfield Local School Board approved a contract that the teachers ratified Tuesday.

Before the vote, the Springfield treasurer read a report on the district's finances. With costs continuing to rise and funding decreasing, board members were thankful for concessions made by teachers as part of the collective bargaining agreement.

"The concessions certainly helped, they did take concessions in salary and benefit packages and that was wonderful and that certainly helps us. It's a great step forward to try and face whatever is coming and the unknown as to what the future is holding as far as the public school financing in Ohio," said Superintendent Kathryn Hott.

However, Wednesday night's contract approval didn't come without some previous controversy.

Almost two weeks ago, teachers voted to approve a strike if a fair agreement wasn't reached. Hours away from issuing a 10-day strike notice, a contract was presented and voted on by teachers and board members.

The Springfield Education Association is made up of 233 teachers in the Springfield Local School District

There are still no details on what the exact numbers are, but teachers will be paying more for healthcare at the same time they will be facing a wage freeze.

Teachers will deal with concessions in wages and benefit packages that Hott says will help with the districts money problems due to state and local funding cutbacks.

"It took us time and as our treasurer was reporting tonight, the fiscal instability both at the local and state level is daunting. So it was tough to get where everybody felt that we could stabilize the finances as best we're able at this point as well as to be as fair as we can. The teachers took concession and we appreciated their effort in doing that, we appreciate their support in doing that," said Hott.

The contract will go into effect immediately. Due to the teachers working without a contract for a year, and year's worth of negotiations, the contract is effective July 1, 2011, and lasts until June 30 2013.

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