The West Aurora School District 129 board on Monday voted to approve a three-year teacher contract that provides average increases of 2.7 percent.
“This contract reflects a commitment by both the West Aurora School District and the Aurora Education Association-West to build the fiscal health of the district while fostering increased collaboration throughout virtually every aspect of our mutual efforts to deliver high quality instruction and extracurricular programs to our students,” Terry Collette, vice president for contract compliance and negotiations, said in a news release from the West Aurora School District.
The three-year contract, which passed 6-1, includes an option for a fourth year. The salary schedule calls for average increases of 2.7 percent, with individual raises depending on a teacher’s personal experience and education.
The contract also gives the district additional flexibility in compensation for new hires and for added duties such as coaching. Additional costs to the district largely will be paid for from the savings the district will have from a large number of retirements at the end of this school year, said West Aurora School Board member Angie Smith, who participated in the negotiations.
“Retirements created an opportunity for us to help pay for new hires and raises for the next three years,” Smith said in the release. “In fact, due to the retirements, the district is projecting that the total cost of teacher compensation in the third year of the contract will be less than this year.
“Also, the additional flexibility in the contract will help us control costs long term,” Smith said.
“It is worth noting that when times were tough, our teachers voluntarily took a freeze in order to help the district,” Smith said. “Now, it is important for the district to remain competitive in teacher compensation to help assure that our students receive quality instruction.”