COVID-19 uncertainty means shorter District 25 contract
Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and its teachers have inked a new labor agreement that's shorter than originally anticipated in the wake of COVID-19.
The two-year contract covering the 466 members of the Arlington Teachers' Association is half as long as their expiring four-year pact. And though union leaders and the school board say they wanted another four-year agreement, ultimately neither side was comfortable moving forward with a longer term because of the unpredictable future of the economy and consumer price index.
When bargaining sessions formally began Feb. 5, they took place face-to-face. But after four meetings across the table, another five sessions had to be held over Zoom video conference, officials said.
Under terms of the agreement ratified by teachers June 4 and approved by the school board June 18, teachers hired after 2014 will get 3.5% salary increases in each of the two years. Most of those hired before 2014 will get 3.5% raises in the first year and 3% the following year.
Another 41 teachers who are off the salary schedules because of longevity will get 1% raises.
The district will also increase stipends by $1.25-an-hour each year and pay more for teachers who take additional postgraduate courses, though the courses have to be approved by a committee.
The wage increases during the two-year agreement will cost the district $1.6 million, officials said.