Pontiac Education Association, school district reach tentative contract agreement

PONTIAC, Mich., May 14, 2012 - After 18 months of extremely contentious negotiations, bargaining teams for the Pontiac Education Association (PEA) and the Pontiac School District reached a tentative agreement on a new contract late Friday evening.  The agreement, covering the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years represents a significant step forward for the future of the Pontiac School District.   

“This was a long and difficult struggle,” said PEA President, Aimee McKeever.  “Although we were not responsible for the financial disaster the district found itself in, Pontiac teachers recognized the serious consequences facing the students, parents and employees of the district and stepped up to meet the challenge.”

The district has experienced severe financial difficulties for the last several years.

“Pontiac teachers made significant sacrifices in wages and benefits to help reduce the district’s deficit and preserve educational programs for the students,” McKeever stated.

The State of Michigan has been withholding the school district’s April state aid payment ($1.25 million) until it could display significant cost saving measures.  In addition, the threat of a potential state takeover of the Pontiac schools has been hanging over the staff and community.

“It is my sincere hope that the state will now release the April payment to the district, recognize the progress this settlement represents and remove the threat of a state takeover,” McKeever said.

The general membership of the PEA and the Pontiac Board of Education will be asked to ratify the tentative agreement in the coming days.

Contact:  Aimee McKeever, PEA president
                 Dan McCarthy, MEA UniServ Director