Dist. 204 teachers, board reach deal

 
Updated 11/14/2015 7:47 PM

The Indian Prairie Unit District 204 teachers union has approved a new three-year contract.

Members of the Indian Prairie Education Association ratified the agreement Friday, with 69 percent voting in favor and 31 percent against, according to a joint statement from the union and the district.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The board of education will vote on the contract Monday.

The agreement includes salary increases of 3.9 percent the first year, 2.55 percent the second year and 2.46 percent the third year.

District 204 School Board President Lori Price said she was satisfied with the deal, which was the third try at an agreement.

"Certainly the third time was the charm," she said. "We're happy to have that passed."

Both sides came away with something that they wanted, she said.

"Any time you have a compromise, nobody is going to get exactly what they want, but we have a good relationship both with our union and administration," Price said. "Both sides worked especially hard to reach an agreement knowing that there wouldn't be complete satisfaction on either side."

Union President Paul Gamboa also was happy with the compromise.

"The best agreements come when both sides aren't completely satisfied," he said. "We feel this was a fair compromise, and we feel that it valued our staff and we are comfortable with it," Gamboa said. "It indicated that our members were far more comfortable with the TA that we came to here, and we felt that their primary issues were addressed on this. We're very pleased with the margin of passage."

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The last contract expired at the end of June for teachers serving 28,500 students from parts of Naperville, Aurora, Bolingbrook and Plainfield.

The 2,100 union members in the Indian Prairie Education Association rejected the second tentative agreement 57 percent to 43 percent in early October.

Since then, negotiators from the union and the district have met twice.

The second tentative agreement would have been a three-year pact with terms including an average 3.2 percent salary increase the first year, an average 2.07 percent increase the second year and an average 2.08 percent increase in the third.

The first possible deal, which teachers shot down 85 percent to 15 percent in May, would have eliminated post-retirement insurance and the 6 percent raises teachers generally receive in their last years of employment.

Under last year's teacher contract, which has remained in effect for the first few months of this school year, a beginning teacher with a bachelor's degree is paid $43,170 a year; a teacher with 23 years experience and a Ph.D is paid $106,966.

• Daily Herald staff writer Marie Wilson contributed to this report.

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