Bloomingdale Elementary Dist. 13 OKs teachers contract
Bloomingdale Elementary District 13 teachers will receive about a 13 percent increase to their base pay over the course of a new, three-year contract.
The school board this week unanimously approved the pact with the Bloomingdale Council of Teachers about five months after bargaining talks began. The union ratified the deal last week.
Teachers will get a 4 percent increase to their base salaries in each of the first two years of the contract. In the final year, they will receive a 5 percent raise.
"I'm very happy that we were able to come to an agreement in time for the start of the year," Superintendent Jon Bartelt said. "We respect our teaching staff very much, and we are happy that for the next three years we can work collaboratively with them in ensuring every student's growth and success."
The base salary for the top-paid teacher in the district will increase to $111,257 from $106,978 in the first year of the agreement. Beginning teachers will see their base pay increase to $44,534 from $42,821 during the first year.
The raises are expected to cost the district $240,705 in the first year, Finance Director John Reiniche said in an email.
Like the most recent contract, the new agreement does not use a traditional salary schedule with so-called step increases based on teachers' length of service.
The district will award additional compensation to teachers who complete eligible courses, workshops or other educational programs. The "educational advancement" increase can vary depending on the years of experience and the degree, Reiniche said. The lowest is a 1.94 percent increase, and the highest is 2.72 percent.
Teachers forgo that compensation if the district reimburses them for tuition. Over the life of the previous, three-year contract, only one teacher, who already held multiple degrees, sought tuition reimbursement, Bartelt said.
The new contract also establishes a joint committee to "explore avenues to reward faculty" for "continued educational excellence."
Bartelt said the exploratory committee will consider "some form of compensation" tied to improvements in student academic performance. It's not clear yet whether that will involve test scores, but Bartelt said the two sides wanted to give the committee freedom to discuss an "issue of mutual interest."
The union and the school board will appoint an equal number of members to the committee, which will report its findings and any recommendations by Dec. 7, 2018.
"We're encouraged by the opportunity to continue ongoing dialogue with them prior to the next time we come to the negotiation table," Bartelt said.
Kristen Novotny and Tiffany Denning, co-presidents of the union, said in a statement that the council is "looking forward to continuing to work with the board in order to make District 13 the best place for educating our students."
The contract expires at the end of June 2019.
The school year began this week for the district's roughly 1,300 students, who are taught in two elementary schools and one middle school.