The Little Rock School Board tonight unanimously ratified a union contract with the school district’s custodial staff, which has been on hold for over a year due to legal questions raised by Little Rock School District (LRSD) attorneys.
The delay over the contract has sparked much contention between the LRSD and the union, the Little Rock Education Association (LREA). Last year, the district and the LREA were set to agree on terms of a contract when lawyers for the district recommended that the board wait before granting approval due to possible conflicts with state law within the contract’s language. Some within the union saw that earlier abrupt about face as a sign of bad faith on the part of the LRSD and Superintendent Dexter Suggs.
Tonight, legal counsel for the district told the board that the district and the union had ironed out the legal problems identified earlier. Suggs still wanted to delay approving the full contract until a December meeting of the board, but several board members said custodial staff had waited long enough and insisted on a vote.