Mundelein Elementary District 75 has reached a four-year agreement with its teachers.
The pact was ratified Monday by members of the Mundelein Elementary Education Association and approved later that evening by the school board.
The term begins with the 2018-19 school year and runs through the 2021-22 school year. Teachers have been working under a one-year contract.
Salary increases will be 2.75 percent the first year and 2.65 percent each of the following three years, slightly higher than the Consumer Price Index, which is 2.1 percent.
School board President Kevin Holly said the four-year deal improves the district's ability to forecast and budget and frees incoming Superintendent Kevin Myers, who will start in 2019-20, from having to deal with teacher contract negotiations.
The increases are balanced by the outsourcing of custodians, a restructuring of the bilingual program, and reductions in administration -- including Myers as a shared superintendent with Mundelein High School District 120 -- to allow for continued balanced budgets, Holly said.
The last multiyear deal was struck in October 2014 after prolonged talks between the teachers and district. At that point, teachers had been working without a contract since June 30.
In September 2014, the then 144-member union approved a strike vote. However, neither side declared an impasse, which would have started a countdown to a strike, and talks continued.
The result was a three-year agreement that boosted the average salary 7.6 percent the first year (retroactive to the end of June), 3.9 percent the second and 3.8 percent the third year.
The amount of salary increases varied, with some teachers receiving smaller increases and others larger ones. Holly said the new salary schedule "significantly increases the starting salary for new teachers" to keep District 75 competitive.
In 2014, the district said it needed to make salaries for more experienced teachers competitive with those in similar-sized districts and allow District 75 to attract and retain highly qualified teachers.
According to the 2017 Illinois state report card, District 75 had 117 full-time teaching equivalents. The average class size was 22.6 compared to a 20.2 state average. District 75 teachers had an average 11.5 years of experience, the report card showed.