- Parkwood Elementary
Board of Education Approves Four-Year Contract for Teachers in U-46
May 6, 2019
The School District U-46 Board of Education Monday approved a new four-year contract for more than 2,400 members of the Elgin Teachers Association (ETA). The contract addresses both compensation and teaching and learning conditions for teachers in the state’s second-largest school district and follows seven months of negotiations.
The contract calls for a base salary increase of one percent the second and third years, then dropping to .50 percent for the final year. Additionally, educators can see a 2.75 percent average increase for “step,” which refers to years of teaching and “lane,” which refers to increases for additional education, for a total average increase of 3.85 percent each year.
In addition to salary, the plan also addresses health insurance and retirement as well as professional development, technology, early learners, parent-teacher conferences, safety, supervision and support systems for students with social-emotional needs.
The ETA membership voted 1,776 to 336 to ratify the agreement last week before bringing it to the Board of Education.
“This is a collaborative agreement to compensate teachers as professionals and work in safe and robust teaching and learning conditions,” said Dr. Suzanne Johnson, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction. “The agreement recognizes traditional post-bachelor education as well as professional development and additional credentials as we prepare students for college and careers.”
The contract calls for equal incremental increases, whether one is moving through “step,” based on years of teaching, or “lane,” which, under the new plan, encompasses a greater scope of educational credit than in the past. A year of service equals one “step” while 10 graduate credit hours allows for the movement of one lane. This shift will better compensate teachers who may come to the District after working in another industry and reflects the importance of varied expertise and skills.
The contract requires five hours for parent-teacher conferences but also allows each school to schedule up to seven additional hours for parent-teacher meetings and/or school programs that can be considered part of professional development. The contract provides for six professional development days; four Professional Practice Days, two District collaborative Days and two School Improvement Plan Committee days.
The contract includes more language about student discipline and safety protocols, outlining that the District will continue to provide resources and support to teachers as they respond to students with social-emotional concerns.
“This contract is an investment in the nearly 39,000 students and 11 communities served by School District U-46. It offers increased flexibility to meet with parents, to coordinate family events and continues to foster a strong bond between our schools and our communities,” said Barb Bettis, President of the Elgin Teachers Association. “It clarifies some of the best practices in support of teacher authority while creating a safe teaching and learning environment.”
Current teachers’ share of health insurance premiums -- now at 10 percent -- would increase to 12 percent effective January 1, 2020 and increase to 15 percent in the third and fourth year of the contract.
The new contract is a four-year-contract inclusive of the 2018-19 school year and concluding in August 2022.