As Geneva School District 304 continues its teachers union negotiations, Batavia schools have approved a new two-year contract that contains salary increases and some concessions.
The Batavia School Board's vote during a public meeting Friday afternoon was the final step to make the agreement official. The union, known as the Batavia Education Association, voted on the contract earlier this week.
The contract contains salary increases of 2.35 percent in the first year and 2.8 percent in the second year for teachers in exchange for a 20 percent reduction in the funds committed towards health benefits. The district will also see a decrease in total salary costs from the replacement of the 26 retirees that will leave this year.
The approved Batavia teacher contract covers the 2012-13 and the 2013-14 school years. The current contract is set to expire on June 30, 2012.
Even though there will be salary increases, the total compensation package for Batavia teachers is projected to decrease by 6 percent in 2012-13, according to a press release sent Friday from the district. The total compensation numbers include salary figures and any other benefits that the district agrees to pay for.
“This agreement is yet another example of how the educators of Batavia work together to continue delivering exceptional education for the children of Batavia during these difficult economic times,” said Tony Malay, Batavia teachers union president, in the press release.
More Contract Details
Other highlights of the new agreement include:
- The addition of collaborative time during the week for teachers in exchange for the elimination of four non-student attendance days
- A realignment of the collaborative district committees
“It was quickly apparent that both sides had a shared interest in creating more collaborative time," said Dr. Kris Monn, assistant superintendent for Finance, and the chief negotiator for the School Board. "Everyone saw the value of time for collaborating and really worked to create the best option that maintains the instructional day for students."
This time will be used for teachers to collaborate to enhance instruction and student achievement using the Professional Learning Communities model.
The implementation of the new teacher appraisal system was also finalized, bringing Batavia Public Schools in full compliance with the requirements of the Illinois Performance Evaluation Reform Act of 2010.
“The agreement reflects the continued commitment to collaboration between the Association and the Board of Education to improve the level of service to our students and community,” Monn said.
Tony Malay, who was also chief negotiator for the teachers union, agreed with Monn.
The teachers union in 2010 agreed to a series of concessions in order to drive down the number of teacher layoffs during negotiations for the 2010-12 contract. But things became tense last year when the School Board voted on 65 early layoff notices in the face of a budget deficit. The district was later able to recall some teachers.
Teachers are the largest employee group in Batavia Public Schools, and they are the ones that spend the most time with students in the classrooms. There are just over 400 employees in the Batavia teachers union.