Glenbrook High School District 225 officials have approved a new four-year contract with the district’s teachers union, creating a separate salary schedule for newly hired teachers.
Under the agreement, which went into effect on May 12, about 420 teachers represented by the Glenbrook Education Association will get an overall average compensation increase of 3.4 percent for the first year of the contract and a 3.5 percent raise for each of the remaining years, according to officials.
The district and the union approved a three-year agreement last summer but both expressed interest later in fall of 2013 in crafting a new, longer contract, said Assistant Superintendent Hillarie Siena.
“This new contract offers the district financial predictability and will help to ensure that the district is able to maintain its projected reserves,” Siena was quoted as saying in an official statement.
Teacher salaries are based on a formula that includes an inflation indicator and level of experience. Differences among salaries in that formula are known as “step” increases.
The approved agreement includes a new salary schedule for teachers hired after July 1, 2014, that adjusts the number of “steps,” or years, teachers would have to work in order to get the highest compensation with the district.
Right now, a new teacher with no years of experiences and a bachelor’s degree would get $53,716 in annual compensation at the district, and the most experienced teacher would get $125,077, Siena said.
While the minimum and maximum teacher salaries are remaining the same, newly hired teachers would be on a 32-year step schedule, in contrast to most of the teachers in the district who are on a 21-year step schedule, Siena said.
The longer schedule means that it would take teachers more time to reach the highest compensation possible.
“You have to work longer to get to the top,” said Matt Whipple, president of the Glenbrook Education Association. “This saves school district some money in the long run.”
The contract, which expires June 30, 2018, includes no changes in benefits including health and dental coverage, other than the usual annual premium increases and negotiated plan design modifications, according to the district’s press release.
District officials and union representatives expressed satisfaction with the negotiations.
“The board and association both believe that the agreement is fair to all stakeholders,” said Board of Education President Skip Shein in an official statement. “It is important to balance our need to attract and retain quality teachers while remaining fiscally responsible, and this contract accomplishes both.”
Whipple agreed on behalf of the union.
“We believe the agreement will allow us to maintain and enrich the excellence of our shared community,” he said.