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updated: 5/19/2010 8:33 AM

Mundelein teachers get raises in new deal

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After nearly two years of negotiations, the Mundelein High School board on Tuesday approved a new contract for teachers and other staffers.

Because the old contract expired in 2009, the new three-year deal retroactively covers the 2010 fiscal year, which ends in June, and continues through summer 2012.

The contract freezes base salaries for the year just concluding, includes a 1 percent base salary increase for 2010-11 and a 1.5 percent increase for the 2011-12 term.

Employees covered by the contract will receive scheduled raises, called step increases, each year.

The average annual step increase is 3.25 percent, Superintendent Jody Ware said.

The starting salary for a new teacher with a bachelor's degree and no professional experience next year will be $43,557, up from $43,126 this year, Ware said.

Ware called the deal conservative.

"We are being very responsible with the budget," she said.

The contract doesn't merely apply to teachers. All 138 employees who are part of the Mundelein Education Association are covered by the deal, including guidance counselors, social workers, a librarian and a school nurse.

About 100 other employees, such as secretaries and administrators, are not covered by the contract.

The union approved the deal last week, school officials said. The school board held a special meeting to ratify the contract so it would be approved before the school year ends this week, board President Edwin Specht said.

The proposal passed 6-0. Board member Al Hitzke was absent.

The deal also includes additional benefits such as more sick days and an increase in tuition reimbursement.

The terms of the contract will be posted today on the district's website,