U-46 inches closer to striking deal with teachers union

 
 
Updated 4/8/2019 10:34 PM
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The Elgin Area School District U-46 school board is inching closer to voting on a new teachers contract after nine months of protracted negotiations.

The district administration and the Elgin Teachers Association announced they have made "significant progress" reaching a tentative agreement on compensatory items -- salary, health insurance, retirement and rates of pay -- and issues related to early learners, parent-teacher conferences, safety, professional development, technology, supervision and support systems for behavioral needs. A comprehensive tentative agreement is expected this week, according to a joint statement from union President Barbara Bettis and Suzanne Johnson, U-46 deputy superintendent of instruction.

The school board Monday night continued discussions on contract negotiations in closed session. No action was taken afterward.

The district's more than 2,400 teachers have been working without a contract since the previous one-year extension expired on Aug. 10. The terms of that contract remain in effect until a new agreement is signed by both parties. It granted a base salary increase of 0.94 percent with a step increase of 3.1 percent on average.

In May, the union and U-46 administration reached a tentative agreement on a new multiyear contract for the 2018-21 school years that would have provided raises to all teachers. It proposed switching teachers to a new compensation model with an average yearly increase of 3.88 percent over three years and offered some teachers the ability to move to the new model over time, remaining under the current compensation system while accruing career credits. Union membership overwhelmingly rejected that deal.

In January, the union filed an unfair labor practice complaint against U-46 with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board "to ensure that withholding of the step does not set contract precedent."

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