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updated: 5/27/2014 9:10 PM

Teachers, board reach agreement in Butler District 53

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Teachers and school board members in Oak Brook's Butler Elementary District 53 have agreed to a four-year contract that includes a change in the compensation model, officials said Tuesday.

The contract, which will run until June 30, 2018, was approved by the Oak Brook Education Association last week and will apply to all 46 union teachers. It is expected to be ratified by the District 53 school board Thursday.

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In an effort to maintain long-term financial sustainability and make teacher salaries more transparent, officials said the teachers' salary schedule has been eliminated. Annual raises during the contract will average roughly 2.2 percent, with a range from 1.75 percent to 3.5 percent depending on seniority. The contract also includes an increased focus on professional development, with teachers contributing an additional five hours a month to district training and collaborative instructional planning.

In addition, the contract eliminates a retirement incentive that awarded retiring teachers with $250 for each year of service and reduces the number of paid sick days for all teachers hired after March 2014 by 33 percent.

"We are extremely proud of our teachers for their commitment to these significant improvements in the district," Superintendent Heidi Wennstrom said in a statement. "We can now move forward together with our full focus on education."

Oak Brook Education Association President Ann Wolff said in a statement that the "negotiations were fair, collaborative and respectful."

"We are pleased for our membership and enthusiastic about what this contract means for the future of our teachers, students and the district," she said.

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