Members of the Indian Prairie Education Association voted on Fri., August 31 to approve the terms of a tentative 2-year agreement. The contract was approved by a vote of 1,061 to 582. The Board of Education will vote on the contract at a meeting on September 4 at 6:30PM.
Superintendent Kathy Birkett described the agreement as a collaborative effort that takes into consideration the financial challenges presented by today’s economy. Specifically, the contract calls for IPEA members to receive cost of living increases in line with inflation in exchange for a series of salary and benefit reforms, including:
- The elimination or reduction of retirement health care benefits for teachers retiring under this contract.
- The reduction of paid benefits for part-time tenured employees.
- A freeze on stipends paid to teachers for extra duties such as coaching and clubs.
In addition, the contract includes $987,849 in savings from changes to health care benefits. The cost of living increases, including increases related to experience and education, will be 2.13 percent for the 2012-13 school year and 2.89 percent in 2013-14.
Val Dranias, IPEA President, stated, “The IPEA bargaining team worked tirelessly to reach an agreement that was fair to its members and was mindful of the financial issues facing the district.”
In June, the Board of Education approved a two-year agreement for its clerical and support staff. The Indian Prairie Classified Association’s (IPCA) contract also includes a sunset of retirement health care benefits and $186,000 in savings from the implementation of a more efficient medical plan.
In addition to health care and insurance savings, the fiscally responsible terms of the contract called for IPCA members to see cost of living increases of 2.41 percent for the 2012-13 school year and 2.89 percent in 2013-14.
At its September 4 meeting, the Board of Education is also expected to vote on cost of living increases for administrators in line with both inflation and the increases for teachers and classified employees. The proposal includes a sunset of retirement benefits and calls for administrators to see a 2 percent increase in 2012-13 and a 2.5 percent increase in 2013-14.
In all three salary areas, the district has worked to keep the total compensation, after taking into consideration benefit concessions, at or below the rate of inflation over the two-year period