River Trails District 26 approves new contract with teachers
The River Trails School District 26 Board of Education approved a four-year collective bargaining agreement with the River Trails Education Association (RTEA). The approval follows several months of negotiating sessions and ratification by the RTEA on April 20. The new contract will be in effect from July 1, 2022 until June 30, 2026.
"It was a pleasure working with the Board and the administration to negotiate a fair and equitable contract," RTEA President Bob Kastner said. "Meetings were respectful and courteous and it is a testament to the great working relationship all parties have with each other. Our educators have worked tirelessly during the pandemic and the Board recognizes that."
Under the agreement, River Trails teachers and other RTEA members will receive a 5% increase in compensation for the 2022-2023 school year. That will be followed by a 4% increase in 2024 and 2025 and a 4.5% increase in 2026. The deal also includes an increase in sick days, a restructuring of health insurance benefits and boosted starting rates for several support positions.
"The members of the RTEA are essential to our district and community," Board member and Negotiations Committee Chairman Frank Fiarito said. "The Board is extremely pleased to have reached this agreement and feels fortunate to be able to lean on these dedicated and talented individuals. We thank them for cordial negotiations and for providing River Trails students with the best possible educational experience."
The RTEA is made up of more than 200 members, including teachers and support staff, such as nurses, school psychologists, social workers, teacher assistants, secretaries, custodians and cafeteria workers.