District 15 Releases Details of New Teacher Contract
The school board will vote on the contract at its June 13 meeting.
Community Consolidated School District 15 released a statement Monday with details regarding the recent contract negotiation that took place between members of the school board's negotiating team and the Classroom Teachers Council June 6.
Highlights of the new contract include:
- Changes to the district's insurance plan to save $1.5 million.
- Moderate salary increases for current faculty with annual percentages over the life of the four-year agreement.
- Continuing the use of full-time program assistants, rather than converting them to part-time, and also re-hiring teachers laid off at the end of the school year.
- Extending instructional time for students each day so that faculty can meet once per week for meetings, training and collaboration.
The four-year contract was approved by two-thirds of the 830-member teachers union last week. The full D-15 school board will vote on approving the contract at its next regularly scheduled June 13 meeting at 7 p.m. at Sundling Junior High.
On June 13, 2012, the District 15 Board negotiation team will be recommending to the Board of Education the ratification of a new, four-year tentative agreement reached with the Classroom Teachers’ Council (CTC). The CTC recently ratified the tentative agreement on June 6, 2012.
During the recent negotiations, the parties focused on reaching agreements aimed at closing the District’s projected budget gap, providing reasonable salary for both current and new faculty and creating more collaboration and preparation time for both the District’s administration and faculty without a decrease in student instructional time.
With respect to the District’s budget concerns, the parties were able to reach agreement on insurance plan changes for administrators, faculty and all other employees designed to reduce District costs by an estimated $1.5 million. The parties also agreed to provide moderate salary increases for current faculty with annual percentages over the life of the four-year agreement to be 1.08%, 2.08%, 2.14%, and 2.22%, respectively. The percentages are inclusive of experience step movement. As a consequence, the current salary schedules were redesigned by the parties to reduce the cost of the existing schedules to accommodate the new percentages. The parties also designed new “Tier II” salary schedules, which will better manage salary costs for new teachers hired beginning the 2012-2013 school year while still remaining competitive with surrounding elementary districts. Also, although the new agreement will continue professional growth opportunities, compensation for graduate degree credit will be limited to once per year as opposed to the current twice per year in order to better manage the cost of such programs.
The parties’ ability to successfully address major financial issues provided greater flexibility regarding the use of program assistants (PA), thereby allowing the District to discontinue its plan to resort to the use of part-time PAs. Instead, the District will be able to better allocate the use of full-time PAs and, coupled with the reconfigured financial package, the District is able to offer full-time employment for the 2012-2013 school year to certified teachers who were laid-off at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. This will positively impact class size. As for educational issues, the parties were able to reach agreement to implement a weekly release time program to allow administrators and faculty to collaborate on training initiatives, to hold faculty and committee meetings, to gather and analyze educational data, and to provide planning opportunities for faculty teams, grade-level teams, and departments. The CTC agreed to extend instructional time for students each day so as to allow a release of students for an equal period of time once per week, thus resulting in no loss of instructional time. The new release time program will not be implemented until the 2013-2014 school year to allow a Board/CTC committee to study all aspects of the program, including researching successful programs at other districts, and to survey various constituent groups prior to implementation. The District also agreed to an additional half day of planning time for faculty on non-student attendance days.
“Both bargaining teams are to be commended,” said Tim Millar, School Board President. “The negotiation team members for both the Board and the CTC devoted an enormous number of hours to address some extremely difficult financial and educational issues,” said Mr. Millar. “We believe that the hard work of these two bargaining teams will have both short-term and long-term benefits for our students, our employees, and our taxpayers. An important immediate benefit: This agreement allows for the District to return to current class-size targets, enabling our teachers to continue to offer the best education possible to our students.”