Avoca Dist. 37 board, teachers agree on contract
The Avoca School District 37 Board of Education on Thursday approved a 5-year contract with the Avoca Education Association. The teachers union already had ratified the agreement by an overwhelming margin on Wednesday.
The new contract includes revisions that will reduce spending in the Education Fund over the next five years compared to the previous contract, especially related to salaries, benefits, and retirement. Additionally, the 2020-25 agreement is an equitable, inclusive, pro-family contract that, for example, provides teachers a longer period to remain on parental leave with pay.
The contract also increases the number of weekly contact minutes between teachers and students and provides greater flexibility to design learning schedules which meet the changing needs of students, while ensuring teachers have time to collaborate as professionals.
Together, these changes will help the board address the district's challenging financial status, made more so since the onset of COVID-19, while continuing its ability to attract and retain high quality teachers.
"Our teachers -- with the support of our families -- are an indispensable foundation of our success," board President Rick Zelinsky said. "This contract will make it possible for that to continue while improving the district's financial position and the quality of education our students receive."
Union President Jennifer Pease said "It was important to maintain aspects of our contract that would continue to retain our excellent teaching staff while also attracting new teaching talent to the district. The AEA feels we achieved this goal in a fiscally responsible manner."