D129 teachers start year with new contract
West Aurora District 129 teachers will start classes Wednesday with a new contract but no overall raise in pay.
The school board approved a three-year deal Monday in a 6-1 vote. Robert Patterson was the lone no vote.
The salary schedule -- the same as last year's -- remains unchanged for the duration of the contract.
"I think the contract shows we are looking to collaborate with the district on many areas," said VanNessa Greer, president of the Aurora Education Association -- West. The contract will cover 840 teachers, librarians, school psychologists and other certified personnel. Union members ratified it Monday.
The contract calls for establishing two committees at West Aurora High School to determine how to spend stipends and salary increments for athletics and other extracurricular activities. The committees would each have four union members two administrators.
There will be similar committees for middle school athletics and activities.
The maximum number of students in a class in the elementary grades continues at 25 in kindergarten, 27 for first grade, 28 for second grade and 30 for third through fifth grades. If a class hits its maximum, the district will have to provide an aide for half the school day. The class sizes had been smaller when the old contract was approved, but were increased during a contract extension.
The new contract could be extended until August 2017, if the union requests it and the board approves. The union would have to file a request by August 2015.
The district agreed to continue to pay 70 percent of the health insurance premium for full-family or member-plus-one coverage, and 85 percent for individual coverage.
The school board also approved a new four-year contract with its custodians, who are represented by Service Employees International Union Local 73.
Base salaries for day, lead, night, floater and nontraditional workweek custodians will increase 8.9 percent in the first year, then 3 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent the following years.
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