D.35 OKs new teacher contract
Updated: February 12, 2013 11:27AM
GLENCOE — District 35 teachers have a new contract that brings them 4.5 percent raises for each of the next five years.
That may seem like a lot in hard times and when public salaries are under fire, but the contract it replaces was even better for the teachers of the Glencoe Education Association.
The previous pact includes annual “steps” of 3.5 percent, plus 2 percent more “new money” each year. The new contract, which will begin with the 2013-2014 school year, has the same steps as a base plus 1 percent new money.
“We really focused on what was best for Glencoe,” District Business Manager Jason Edelheit said Tuesday, the morning after the District 35 School Board’s unanimous ratification. “It was a contract that we all felt good about. It was good enough for us.”
Teachers won’t have to pay any more, percentage-wise, for their health insurance than they do now, for the length of the five-year contract. The district will continue to cover 95 percent of a single teacher’s HMO costs, 85 percent of a PPO, and 70 percent of family coverage, Edelheit said.
Tuition reimbursement rises from $250 to $300 per credit hour, with the per-teacher annual maximum rising from $750 to $4,200. The district limit rises from $50,000 to $80,000 per year.
For the first time, the contract includes a clause for teachers to pay back some of the reimbursements when they leave the district, under certain circumstances.
First-step pay rises from $45,267 to $45,720. More typical, a teacher with a master’s degree and on the fifth step will earn $57,683, up from $57,112.
District 35’s steps end after 25 years. Then, a teacher with a master’s and 30 post-graduate credit hours earns $118,807, plus an annual cost-of-living adjustment. Next year, the base salary for that top-level employee will be $119,995.
School Board President Nancy Shaw Monday congratulated the committee that participated in the interest-based bargaining, and the union.
GEA leadership could not be reached for comment.
“I’ve been through this five or six times, and each one has its own challenges,” long-time board member Eddie Chez, a committee member, said.
He added that the spirit of the negotiations indicated the mutual interest of the Board, faculty and administration in the success of the students.