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Local

Teachers’ union members could be set for 15% raise over next 4 years

DeKalb Area Classroom Teachers' Association contract up for school board vote Tuesday

The DeKalb District 428 Education Center.
The DeKalb District 428 Education Center.

DeKALB – Under a proposed four-year agreement, members of the DeKalb District 428 teachers’ union could receive a 15% pay increase in the next four years if the school board votes to approve the proposed contract Tuesday.

After months of negotiations, multiple demonstrations during school board meetings, a strike vote, and DeKalb Classroom Teachers’ Association members beginning the school year without a new contract, a union settlement is up for a vote during Tuesday’s District 428 Board of Education meeting, set for 7 p.m.

Annual salary increases would occur on an incremental basis, according to the contract, and reach cumulative 15% in 2023, when the proposed contract would expire.

According to the proposed contract for the DeKalb Classroom Teachers’ Association, members would get a 2% increase to their base pay beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, a 1.75% increase the second year (2020-2021), a 1.5% increase in the third year (2021-2022), and a 1% increase the final year (2022-2023).

There also would be an annual step increase of 2.21% awarded to association members, according to the contract.

When reached Monday, T.J. Fontana, spokesperson for the association and a math teacher at DeKalb High School, declined to comment ahead of the vote. Board President Samantha McDavid did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Under the contract, association members would stop getting a step increase after 24 years of teaching they have a bachelor’s degree, and 29 years if they have a master’s degree.

Under the proposed changes, if a union member received a step increase each year on top of base pay increases, they would get a 14.86% cumulative pay raise over the four-year contract.

Additionally, instructors could also receive a twice-yearly $250 stipend (from 2021 to 2024) if they teach a classroom size that exceeds a set size as yet undetermined by a task force, which will collect data in 2019 and 2020, according to the contract.

In order for the stipend to go into effect, a task force will be created, composed of teachers, administrators, school board members and parents who will gather data and meet for two years to research what an ideal student-teacher ratio in the district should be, documents show.

The union represents more than 500 educators. In addition to teachers, the union also includes coaches, counselors, social workers, speech language pathologists, psychologists, nurses, librarians and instructional coaches, among others.

DeKalb teachers, educators and other members of the association have been working under the old contract since school began Aug. 15.

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