The Community High School District 155 board of education Monday approved a new teacher's contract that includes a salary freeze and teachers to provide greater contributions to health benefits, according to a D155 news release.
District 155 provided the following account of the new contract in a Tuesday news release.
After nearly seven months of negotiations, the Community High School District 155 board of education and Education Association have come to agreement on a contract effective July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013.
Teachers in District 155 will have their salary schedule frozen over the next two years and also will make greater contributions to health insurance benefits. Total estimated savings to the district will be $2 million.
Both negotiating teams focused on the long-term fiscal health of the school district and the desire to approve a contract that would not bring additional financial stress to the community.
The District 155 board of education had given the administrative negotiating team the edict of making sure any agreements reached would be student-centered and result in a balanced budget.
“This is the first time we can recall the teachers agreeing to no increase to the salary schedule,” school board president, Ted Wagner said. “We understand the difficult balance between coming to terms with our teachers and running a district we can afford without providing a greater burden to our taxpayers.”
Association president Justin Hubly noted, “Members of the Association are dedicated to the success of our students. This agreement demonstrates our understanding of the current financial climate and our attempts to come to terms that are fair and affordable. It is important to members of the Association that our school district is able to maintain its long-term fiscal health.”
Superintendent Jill Hawk described the process as rigorous, but professional and complimented both sides for working hard to obtain an agreement that represented the shared interests of the board, administration, teachers, and community members.
“Most important, this agreement supports the focus of our school district: educating our students at the highest level possible,” Hawk said “This can only be done with dedicated, high quality teachers who work hard on behalf of our young people.”