Cape Town Education Board, Education Association.Ink labor contract


LEWIS — The Cape Henlopen School Board and the Cape Henlopen Education Association, the collective bargaining unit of the board’s professional employees, on Thursday signed a new contract that runs through 2029, with board members, staff and negotiators All smiles.

CHEA President Christy Wimmer spoke on behalf of her negotiating team and supported the contract.

Ms. Wimmer explained that “these dedicated union members spent more than 20 hours preparing” the bargain. She also thanked her team at the Board of Education.

“They are willing to persist with issues that take longer to resolve rather than just shelving them or shutting them down,” she continued. “So I feel like we’re all a cohesive team rather than labor versus management.”

Ms Wimmer said the approach adopted by the school and union had significantly reduced negotiation time. She calls it “interest-based bargaining,” in which both parties share their stories and try to find a common solution.

“Negotiations that used to take months were completed in two days, with the third day being spent on developing the contract language,” she said.

Weimer said neither side got everything they asked for, but believes all parties understand each other’s problems.

“Finally, this contract provides healthy, sustainable wage increases, preserves benefits, and clarifies previously ambiguous language,” Ms. Winner said. “I firmly believe this is the best contract we have ever negotiated.”

Matt Lindell, one of the school’s negotiators, agreed.

“I think it’s great when you put adults in a room together, and I know there’s been some friction over the past few years, but things have changed on both sides,” he said. “So when you get adults in a room to think constructively and see what the issues are on both sides and work together to solve them, I think it strengthens the relationship between the school district and the union.”

Superintendent Bob Fulton was pleased with the efforts of both parties.

“I believe I’ve said it a lot, but I probably haven’t said it enough, I think we do really good things in our school district and I’m proud of what we’ve done and I’m even more excited about what we’re going to do in the future, and The key is the people who are in front of our children every day.

Mr. Fulton said it is important that the people employed by the district want to be there, and that this is reflected in student performance.

“Give us the best employees in Delaware and beyond — and we have them here on the Cape,” he said.

The motion to adopt the contract passed 4-0 with three members absent.

“I know I can speak on behalf of the three board members who are not here tonight who also voted in favor and are excited to get another contract,” said Board President Dr. Allison Myers.

The effective date of the contract is July 1, 2024.

Staff writer Brian Gilliland can be reached Please call 410-603-3737 or email bg@iniusa.org.





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