Pay raises coming for District 118's support workers
Unionized support employees in Wauconda Unit School District 118 will receive pay raises ranging from 2.5% to 3% under a new three-year contract, officials said.
The District 118 board last week approved the pact with the Wauconda Education Support Personnel Association. It's effective immediately and runs through the 2022-23 school year. The previous contract expired June 30.
The deal applies to 257 workers considered support personnel. They include health aides, library aides, security workers, clerical workers, occupational and physical therapists, bus drivers and others.
Teachers are covered by a separate contract. In August 2019, the school board and teachers union approved a five-year contract calling for 3.6% salary increases in each year.
The support employees will receive 2.5% pay raises this year, 2.9% raises in 2021 and 3% raises in 2022, said Cameron Willis, the district's assistant superintendent of business services.
Additionally, a cash payout employees can use to offset the costs of medical and dental insurance will increase about 9% to $9,322 for the 2020-21 school year and 7% in each of the two subsequent years, Willis said.
"If the employee does not need to purchase insurance through the district, that would be cash to them," Willis said.
The union approved the deal July 1.
Contract negotiations lasted about six months. Willis described the sessions as "very collaborative and positive."
Union president Kellie Spears called it a "fair and financially beneficial contract," especially considering the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
District 118 consists of three elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school. As of last fall, about 4,700 students were enrolled.
District officials have not yet publicized a plan for how classes will be conducted this fall, in light of the continued COVID-19 crisis.