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updated: 9/20/2013 1:03 PM

District 89 approves three-year teacher contract

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Teachers in Glen Ellyn Elementary District 89 will receive average raises totaling more than 9 percent in the first two years of their new three-year contract with the school board.

The pact, approved Monday, is retroactive to Aug. 22 and calls for average salary increases of 5.84 percent in the first year and 3.3 percent in the second, officials said.

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Salary increases for the third year of the contract will be based on increases in the Consumer Price Index and won't be finalized until January 2014.

District officials say the CPI historically increases by roughly 2.5 percent a year.

As a result of the contract, a new teacher with a bachelor's degree will be paid $45,203 for this school year.

Assistant Superintendent Maureen Jones said the district will be able to afford the raises without increasing the cost for taxpayers because of projected savings from changes to the teachers' retirement benefits.

Union members previously could qualify for retirement benefits after 10 years of full-time teaching.

Under the terms of the new deal, teachers with at least 15 years of full-time experience will be eligible for 4 percent raises in each of their last four years with the district; those with 20 years experience will be eligible for 5 percent raises in each of their last four years; and those with at least 25 years experience will be eligible for 5.5 percent increases in each of their last four years with the district.

The contract does not call for any changes to the length or number of school days.

"Our intention for this contract was to create a system of teacher compensation that could more readily adapt to changes in the amount of revenue received by the district," officials said in a written statement. "As we move forward, District 89's teacher compensation will remain competitive, yet affordable to our taxpayers."

Sandra Brenner, the teachers union co-president, said the agreement was a positive reflection on the relationship between the school board and the 156-member union.

"It's a negotiation," Brenner said. "We have a history of working collaboratively and respectfully with the board and administration. That's exactly what happened here."

District 89 serves roughly 2,000 students in four elementary schools and one junior high in southern Glen Ellyn, Wheaton and Lombard.

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