Grosse Pointe Public School teachers voted 305 to 191 Monday to approve the proposed contract introduced to them earlier this month with significant changes to sick time and evaluation procedures.
Hours after the vote was tallied, the Grosse Pointe Public School Board approved it, meaning it will take effect March 25.
The contract drew heavy criticism from teachers related to the elimination of sick time and the implementation of banks for each teacher. Any absence beyond 10 days requires the teachers to pay $120 for a substitute regardless of whether one is hired or not.
An exception was added into the contract through a "letter of understanding" distributed to teachers after the originally proposed contract was introducted. The letter states teachers may go before a board to seek exemption from paying the substitute teacher pay with unanimous agreement on catastrophic illness. In such instances, the cost would be split by the Grosse Pointe Education Association and the school district.
This is the first negotiation of the contract since the pay for unionized employees was first linked to the district's fund equity. That contract, developed and took effect in 2009, was considered ground-breaking and teachers agreed to it in part because the district's funds had never dipped near the 10 percent threshold, which is the figure that requires the contract formula to go into effect.
The margin of approval on this contract, which will be in place through 2017, is much closer than the vote on the first contract linking pay to fund equity.
While the proposed contracts for other unionized employees have not been highlighted, those also are linked to fund equity.