Crystal Lake High School Board Approves Teachers’ Contract after Five Months of Negotiations

A press release from Crystal Lake High School District 155:

D155 Reaches Agreement with D155 Education Association

A District 155 Finance Committee meeting.

The District 155 Board of Education approved the teachers’ contract on Thursday, January 24.

The D155 Education Association, district administrators, and the Board of Education have been working collaboratively toward a new collective bargaining agreement since August.

The contract is for three years and will run July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022.

Adam Guss

“This has been a collaborative process between the board and representatives with our education association. We believe we have reached an agreement that allows us to retain and recruit high quality teachers while being mindful of our taxpayers,” said Adam Guss, Board of Education president.

A summary includes changes that will be instituted in the new collective bargaining agreement:

The new agreement provides an average increase in base salaries of 1.5% in each of the three successive years of the contract with corresponding total annual increases of 3.87%, 3.86%, and 3.87% in each of those same three years of the contract for teachers who have achieved a step increase due to experience in the District.

When compounded, this contract represents a 12.0% total increase over three years to the salary and benefits (TRS, Health Insurance, Etc.) for teachers.

Elimination of mandatory union dues (so-called “Fair Share”) in keeping with the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court.

Increase in the stipend for traveling teachers who teach 30 periods per week and have more than 3 course preparations from $500 per semester to $1,500 per semester.

Post master’s degree college credit reimbursement to a maximum of 15 graduate credits annually in high needs areas as directed and approved by the district.

Teachers are only eligible to receive course reimbursement of $350 per credit hour for approved masters programs following the completion of two full years of teaching.

Salary caps (3% annually) for teachers within four years of eligibility for retirement.

A retirement “pipeline” providing 3% annual increases for four consecutive years for teachers who submit their irrevocable intent to retire letter.

Creation of a joint salary schedule committee charged with the mission to study alternative methods for teacher compensation.

“Our team and the district representatives came to the table with a shared commitment to do what’s best for our students, our schools and the long-term health of the district.

“We worked from that common ground to craft a fair deal that will allow us to continue offering our students the excellent experience they deserve,” said Devin Hester, D155 Education Association president.

The D155 Education Association ratified the agreement on Friday, January 18.

“The feedback we received during our strategic planning process this fall from more than 4,600 students and parents highlighted the quality education we offer in District 155 and emphasized our caring, dedicated faculty and staff.

“This agreement honors what we value as a community while continuing to be fiscally responsible,” said Steve Olson, superintendent.

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