Most teachers in Benjamin Elementary District 25 will get 3 percent step increases next year - but no increase in base pay - under a new three-year contract. Teachers at the top of the pay scale who do not qualify for a step adjustment will get 2 percent increases for 2010-2011.
The new contract freezing the salary schedule for one year was hammered out in just four collective bargaining sessions. Both sides realized "we can't give significant raises," said Superintendent Phil Ehrhardt, and agreed the increases should not be at the expense of educational programs.
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Dist. 25 already has eliminated five teaching positions for the 2010-2011 school through retirements, resulting in an overall savings of 7.6 percent on salaries.
The school board voted 5-1 Monday night to approve the contract. Teachers ratified the pack a week ago.
"The new contract provides modest compensation increases and maintains the district's fiscal stability during these tough economic times, which is the right thing to do so our students' education can continue to flourish," said Lyn Burkholder, president of the teachers' association, in a news release.
Under the second year of the three-year agreement, base pay will increase 1.47 percent. That's in addition to the 3 percent step adjustment for increased education and experience, or 1.5 percent for teachers at the top of the pay scale.
Pay raises for 2012-13 - the third year of the contract - will be tied to a formula based on the Consumer Price Index.
Teachers will continue to contribute approximately 30 percent of the cost of health insurance under the new contract.
Dist. 25 has two schools and serves prekindergarten through eighth grade students from the southwest corner of Carol Stream and portions of West Chicago.