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Teachers Said Ready To Ratify Pact

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After last night's "quiet and orderly" informational meeting on the proposed 1970-71 teachers' contract, Ann Arbor Educatión Association (AAEA) President Albert Chaffee says he doesn't anticípate any j lems in gaining ratification of the contract. The nearly 3-hour sessión was apparently quieter than teacher officials had expected. The meeting at Huron High School was closed to the news media, and The News' reporter was turned away. An estimated 400 to 500 ers attended the meeting. This was not enough to ratify, since about 600 affirmative votes are needed. Ballots are being mailed out to those teachers who did not attend last night's meeting, and Chaffee says all ballots will begin to be counted Monday. the finalresults will be announced as soon as possible next week - by next Friday at the latest. A A E A officials reiterated that school will begin on time Tuesday, even if the counting is not finished and no final results are in. (The Board of Educatin fied the contract Wednesday night). The big issue at last night's meeting reportedly concerned the change in hospitalization insurance carrier from Blue Cross-Blue Shield to Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA). A teacher who attended last night's meeting told The News many teachers said they still wanted a choice between Blue Cross or MESSA - as was the case last year. Under the proposed contract, only MESSA will provide the f u 1 1 f a m i I y hospitalization coverage. The increases in class size under the new contract were discussed, according to Chaffee. But he says it "wasn't a major issue." Chaffee emphasized h o w e v e r , that most teachers do not consider the class size hikes "ideal." The proposed 1970-71 salary schedule got little discussion. Most teachers who attended apparently can live with the settlement. (The average salary increase was 8.4 per cent, and total estimated salary increases were $1,348,000). The proposed contract would rank Ann Arbor teachers with an MA degree lOth among 22 comparable Michigan districts. About 40 per cent of Ann Arbor's teachers are at this level. Other questions last night centered on decreases in released time for some teachers, working conditions and "academie climate," according to Chaffee. "Most of the teachers aren't all together happy with the contract, but they realize that compromises had to be made," one teacher told The News. The agreement on the 1970-71 contract was reached Aug. 10 after five months of bargaining and three days of mediation.


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