Tentative contract reached for District 64
Linda Bobowski, a first-grade teacher at Field School, works on reading, one on one, with Anthony Capesius earlier this school year. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 21, 2012 1:17PM
PARK RIDGE — A tentative agreement on a new, four-year contract has been reached between Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 teachers and the Board of Education, district officials announced last week.
Members of the Park Ridge Education Association are scheduled to vote on the contract Sept. 18. The contract, if ratified by the union membership, would then go before the Board of Education for adoption Sept. 24.
According to the district, the contract includes a base salary increase of 2 percent for each year of the agreement. Teachers will also continue to receive “step” increases based on length of service, experience and education. These step increases vary, but average 1.6 percent, according to District 64.
Teachers will continue to share in the cost of health and dental insurance coverage, under the proposed agreement.
A copy of the actual contract was not immediately available for viewing by the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate.
“I think it’s a good agreement,” said Board President John Heyde, who is optimistic the contract will be adopted by the Board of Education. “I think it accomplishes our goal of both protecting the community’s resources and also recognizing our teachers as professionals and paying them appropriately.”
Heyde acknowledged that negotiations were “lengthy,” with about 12 meetings between the two sides taking place before the contract was complete. Pay raises were the last issue to be resolved, he said.
“The economic issues were obviously challenging, given the state of the economy,” Heyde said.
The Board of Education and the PREA are expected to form a committee in two years in order to “discuss potential changes to the salary schedule and structure,” according to the district.
“This agreement is a win for all stakeholders in the Park Ridge-Niles community,” PREA President Erin Breen said in a news release.
This is only the second four-year contract negotiated in District 64 in at least three decades, according to the district.
There are approximately 380 full-time teachers in District 64’s five elementary schools, two middle schools and early childhood center.