Members of the Association of Plainfield Teachers voted to approve the latest tentative contract agreement with the Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 Board on Wednesday night.
The five-year deal passed with
58 percent of APT members voting yes.
“This contract successfully addresses many of the needs of our membership, including taking important steps to grow our staff with teachers who will make District 202 their destination,” said APT President Dawn Bullock in a statement. “We appreciate the board’s willingness to strengthen District 202’s commitment to our membership.”
The key point of contention between the two sides involved the method of determining teachers’ pay raises in the latter years of the proposed five-year contract. Changes to the pay scale are retroactive to July 1, 2017, and the contract runs through June 30, 2022.
According to the statement, teachers will see average raises of
5.56 percent in the first year, 3.25 percent in the second year, and raises of 3.25 percent to 4.25 percent in the third, fourth and fifth years.
The APT argued that better salary growth would keep the district competitive in attracting and retaining quality teachers. According to the statement, the deal adds money to the salary schedule every year, includes expanded retirement incentive to reward longevity, maintains traditional “lane/step” salary structure, bases future increases to the base of the salary schedule Consumer Price Indexing and re-indexes salary schedule for greater equity throughout membership.
During previous negotiations, the APT advocated for using the professional pay schedule, as opposed to CPI, to determine raises.
Additional contract details will be releases after the board ratifies the deal.
The board and APT reached a tentative agreement
Oct. 26 after months of negotiations. The agreement came after a few rounds of negotiations this month and a contentious special Board of Education meeting Oct. 18 in which many Plainfield teachers, residents and students came out to hear the board’s presentation of the contract proposal.
The APT previously had overwhelmingly rejected a tentative contract agreement in September with 96 percent of members voting against it. Then, in early October, members of the APT voted, again overwhelmingly, to approve a strike in the event of failed negotiations.
The school district has nearly 28,000 students in 28 schools and retains 88 percent of its teachers, which is about the same if not slightly better than the average for the state, according to Illinois Report Card.
“On behalf of the Board of Education, we thank the APT membership and its leaders for their dedication to the process of negotiations and to providing the best possible service to our students and families,” said District 202 Board President Greg Nichols in the statement. “District 202 has some of the best educators in the business and we value their hard work.”
The board is expected to vote on the tentative agreement at the Nov. 6 regular meeting.