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updated: 8/30/2012 3:57 PM

District 204, teachers agree to two-year contract

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Indian Prairie Unit District 204 teachers are poised to receive raises that will total roughly 5 percent over the next two years.

The district and the Indian Prairie Education Association teachers union have reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract. The pact, which teachers are expected to ratify Friday, will provide about 2,100 teachers with average raises of 2.13 percent for the current school year and 2.89 percent for 2013-14.

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The contract also calls for elimination or reduction of retirement health care benefits for teachers retiring under this contract; the reduction of paid benefits for part-time tenured employees; and a freeze on stipends paid to teachers for extra duties such as coaching and clubs.

Officials said the changes in health care benefits will save the district $987,849.

Superintendent Kathy Birkett described the agreement as a collaborative effort that takes into consideration the financial challenges presented by today's economy.

Union President Val Dranias, who expects the deal to be approved by teachers, said negotiators approached the bargaining table conscious of the district's financial situation.

"This is a very, very fair contract that keeps them in the black," Dranias said. "I feel like we got the most for the most and did the least harm to the least."

The district will post an update on the teachers' vote on the district's website, www.ipsd.org, once the ballots are counted on Friday. If approved, the school board will vote on the contract at a 6:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday.

At that time the board also is likely to approve cost-of-living increases for administrators in line with both inflation and the increases agreed to by the district's unions. The proposal includes a sunset of retirement benefits and calls for administrators to receive a 2 percent salary increase in 2012-13 and a 2.5 percent increase in 2013-14.

In June, the board approved a two-year agreement for its clerical and support staff. The Indian Prairie Classified Association's contract also includes a sunset of retirement health care benefits and $186,000 in savings from the implementation of a more efficient medical plan.

In addition to health care and insurance savings, the contract called for IPCA members to see cost-of-living increases of 2.41 percent for the 2012-13 school year and 2.89 percent in 2013-14.

Indian Prairie covers portions of Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook and Plainfield.

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