Contract talks resuming in Bloomingdale District 13
The teachers union and school board in Bloomingdale Elementary District 13 will resume contract talks with a federal mediator July 15, more than a month after the two sides last met at the bargaining table.
Talks appeared to reach a standstill last month as the previous, three-year contract expired June 30. The union representing more than 100 teachers had indicated it wanted to continue negotiations in early August, just nine days before students are scheduled to return to school.
Superintendent Jon Bartelt and school board President Diane Birkley said they're pleased talks will resume earlier than expected. The two sides haven't met since June 6.
"I think there's a will to do what it takes to make sure we work steadily toward an agreement," Bartelt said Thursday.
Salaries are one of the issues that remain on the table, Birkley has said.
Under the most recent contract, teachers received a 5 percent raise to their base pay in the first year and a 4 percent increase in each of the last two years of the deal. The average teacher salary is $52,073.
Maria Schueler said Thursday she's helping organize an email campaign among fellow parents in the district to petition the school board to raise teacher salaries.
She cites an Illinois State Board of Education analysis that shows the minimum and maximum salaries for teachers in two categories -- those with bachelor's or master's degrees -- rank below those of their peers in Carol Stream and Addison school districts. The annual study contains data from the 2014-15 school year, the most recently available.
The highest-paid teacher with a bachelor's received $64,872 in Carol Stream Elementary District 93; $60,327 in Addison Elementary District 4; $47,409 in Bloomingdale; and $45,049 in Roselle Elementary District 12, the study showed.
"As a taxpaying Bloomingdale citizen, I want our teachers to be paid in a competitive way with the area districts," Schueler said. "We want to maintain the quality of teachers."
The district's full negotiating team -- Bartelt, the superintendent; John Reiniche, the district's new finance director; an attorney; board Vice President Cary Moreth; and Birkley -- is expected to attend the meeting. Sessions are typically scheduled for four hours, but those details have not yet been determined.
In a statement, Kristen Novotny and Tiffany Denning, co-presidents of the Bloomingdale Council of Teachers Local No. 571 IFT-AFT, AFL-CIO, say the union and the school board have an agreement not to talk to the media and declined to comment Thursday.
No other dates have been scheduled.