Niles teachers to vote Monday on tentative agreement

Published 6:15 am Saturday, April 15, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Negotiations involving teacher contracts for Niles Community Schools are almost complete.
Superintendent Doug Law said Friday the teachers union and the administration have both signed a tentative agreement for a new three year contract, which the teachers will vote on Monday afternoon.
Law also added the school board is scheduled to ratify the contract during its regular meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the Westside Administration Building.
The current teacher contract is set to expire June 31.
Law said the last time the contract for teachers expired a period of almost one-and-a-half years passed before a new agreement was reached.
"This is a pretty significant departure from that," Law said.
Details of the contract will be made available after the document is signed, Law added.
Also during Monday's meeting, Law said the board will receive recommendations for changes to the numerous board policies. A majority of the changes are to ensure the district is in line with new state and federal laws regarding criminal history records, Law said.
The new laws, which became effective Jan. 1, 2006, among other things, require school employees to be fingerprinted in order to have a criminal background check performed. Registered sex offenders are also restricted by the new laws from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of school property.
One of the major changes to board policy has to deal with the use of tobacco on school property. Board policy number 7434 will require all Niles Community Schools property to be tobacco free at all times. Law said smoking used to be allowed outside the Westside Administration Building after 6 p.m. while adult education classes were in session. With the new policy, anyone wishing to smoke while on school grounds would have to do so on the sidewalk off the property, Law said.