District 75 teachers get average 15.3 percent salary increase over three years

 
 
Updated 11/4/2014 6:19 PM
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  • Mundelein School District 75 teachers held a rally including a walk to the district office in early September.

      Mundelein School District 75 teachers held a rally including a walk to the district office in early September. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

Teachers in Mundelein Elementary District 75 will receive an average salary increase of 15.3 percent as part of a three-year pact.

The agreement, approved Monday by a 6-0 school board vote, calls for the average salary to increase 7.6 percent in the first year, which is retroactive to June 30; 3.9 percent the second; and, 3.8 percent the third year. The tentative agreement was announced about two weeks ago but details were not released at the time.

According to a statement from the district, teachers whose salaries were already competitive will receive smaller increases, and teachers whose salaries were "less competitive" will receive larger increases. School board member Wells Frice, who has been the board's spokesman on negotiations, said the contract will make salaries for more experienced teachers comparable with districts of similar size and allow District 75 to attract and retain highly qualified teachers.

The district also agreed to pay 1 percent more for family health insurance, bringing its contribution in that category to about 38 percent, Frice said.

And in a nod to potential legislation, the agreement says salary increases may be discontinued and negotiations reopened if the state calls for the district to pay $100,000 or more in pension payments.

"If there's a shift in what the state currently pays for pensions ... we can notify the union and we can begin negotiations again," Frice said. "Who knows if that's going to happen."

Because of retiring teachers who will no longer be on the payroll, the district's budget will increase by 2 percent the first year, 3.7 percent the second and 2.7 percent the third year, Frice said.

Teachers already approved the contract. Union co-president Nick Ciko said teachers "are ready to give our full attention to doing what we love most, and that is teaching children."

The district statement said the new contract "ushers in a new era of collaboration" in terms of developing the school calendar and in the determination of professional development while easing the burden on teachers for the development of curriculum.

Before the new contract, district teacher salaries ranged from $34,889 to $72,581, according to state figures.

Board action Monday officially concluded the prolonged talks between the teachers and district, which began early this year and spanned nearly two dozen negotiating sessions. The 144-member Mundelein Elementary Education Association has been working without a contract since June 30. A strike vote was approved by teachers in late September but neither side declared an impasse, which would have started the clock on a potential walk out.

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