May 8, 2011
Colorado Springs School District 11 and its teachers have tentatively agreed on a contract for the 2011-12 school year.
Details of the tentative agreement were not released late Saturday when the deal was announced in a joint statement between District 11 and the Colorado Springs Education Association, which represents the district’s teachers.
Negotiators were kept busy with the longest revision of the contract in 16 years. All 19 articles of the master agreement were up for negotiation, including salary and benefits, teaching conditions and open bargaining sessions.
The tentative deal brings the district closer to ending a contentious contract battle fraught with haggling over whether to open negotiations to the public — a topic that spurred protests and a lawsuit.
The conservative group Americans for Prosperity asked the board to open negotiating sessions to the public in February — a move initially opposed by the teachers union, which felt caught off-guard by the demand.
Americans for Prosperity pushed the board to boycott negotiations and staged a protest in March. Later that month, a parent sued the district claiming it had failed to hold a required a public meeting at the beginning of the negotiations.
In response, a public session was held on April 15, drawing about 65 people who stayed for parts of the more than 11-hour negotiating session.
The district’s board of education and teachers still must approve the new contract.