D301, teachers reach agreement on 2-year pact
By Denise Moran For The Courier-News August 22, 2012 11:36AM
Updated: September 24, 2012 7:43AM
BURLINGTON — The Central Education Association and Central Community Unit School District 301 board have reached agreement on a new, two-year contract that keeps starting salaries the same but does allow for extra pay for “step” increases and continuing education.
The agreement covers the district’s 235 teachers in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, and follows bargaining sessions held during the spring and summer months. The current contract is set to expire Aug. 31.
According to a statement from the District 301 board and CEA, “the parties agreed upon several changes to language items in the contract and areas of clarification. In addition, the base salary was not increased in either year of the contract, but teachers are allowed ‘step and lane’ movement in the salary schedule.”
“There was also a reduction in retirement benefits. A first-year teacher’s salary including retirement under the new contract is $37,100 per year. Experienced teachers’ percentage of increase will vary based on continued education and movement on the salary schedule.”
All staff in District 301 operated under a salary freeze during the 2011–12 school year. While the starting salary remains the same in the new contract, a teacher’s base salary in his or her second year will go up to $38,324.
In year one, the increased cost of the contract to the district will be approximately $397,000 (including Teacher Retirement System payments) due to step and lane movement, for a 3.02 percent increase overall, Superintendent Todd Stirn said.
In year two, the increased cost will be about $399,000 due to step movement, for a 2.95 percent increase, he said.
In other business, officials said much effort went into preparing the schools for the first day of classes on Wednesday for grades one through 12. Kindergarten classes start on Aug. 29.
“I want to thank the custodians for their hard work in getting the buildings ready for staff and students to return,” Stirn said.
“It’s been a good and busy year,” said Mike Halfpenny, District 301 director of buildings and grounds. “We did a lot of projects over the summer.”
The 20,000-square-foot roof over the entire first wing of Central High School near Burlington was replaced with an energy-efficient roof. The work was done by DCG Roofing Solutions in Des Plaines. The company’s bid for the project was $405,218. Screens and windows that were bowed due to the former 20-year-old roof were replaced.
The biggest project involved changes at Central Middle School near Burlington and Prairie Knolls Middle School in Elgin.
Both schools originally held classes for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students, according to Halfpenny.
This year, Prairie Knolls only has sixth- and seventh-grade students, while Central Middle will be strictly for eighth-grade students.
Another project involved the switch of classrooms for hearing-impaired students from Country Trails Elementary School in Elgin to Howard B. Thomas Grade School near Burlington.
There were also improvements to the Central High School parking lot and life-safety measures such as replacement of defective sprinkler heads.