District 53, teachers reach accord
Updated: May 9, 2012 10:18AM
Butler School District 53 and the Oak Brook Education Association have reached an agreement on a new contract.
Since the last school board meeting, Feb. 1,3 the board extended two “supposals” to the OBEA, according to Board President Alan Hanzlik. After discussions, the second supposal was converted to a proposal, which was provided to the OBEA members over the weekend.
The OBEA voted to approve the final offer Tuesday.
The main sticking point during negotiations were wage increases. Both sides had previously agreed to everything, but salary increases.
In the agreement reached Tuesday, the union agreed to the original final offer numbers submitted by the district in January.
Hanzlik said the compensation rate increases agreed to are 2.3 percent in year one, 2.8 percent in year two and 3.3 percent in year three.
New to the agreement is the OBEA agreeing to revise the health insurance provision to include language which mandates that if insurance rates increase 10 percent or more in any year, the district’s Insurance Committee will meet and implement changes (such as co-pays, types of coverage, deductibles, etc.) which would lower the increase to 10 percent or less.
The district and teachers share a 50/50 split of the cost of any increases.
Second, the sides agreed to eliminate a contract provision which required the district to recognize any previous service a new hire might have by placing them on the district salary schedule which included the previous number of work years.
In an e-mail sent by Hanzlik on Tuesday night, he said the negotiation process achieved two important goals.
“The community received a very thorough understanding of the current situation, district financials and how union contracts work,” Hanzlik wrote. “Through the significant communication we had with community residents, we learned a lot about their expectations of the schools, suggestions, concerns and observations. As a result, key items we learned will be introduced to the teachers and action plans (will be) developed accordingly.”
Hanzlik expressed his gratitude to the community and the teachers during the yearlong negotiations, which included bargaining sessions with a federal mediator.
“The community has been wonderful throughout this long process,” Hanzlik wrote. “In addition, we wish to thank our teachers for their patience.”
An e-mail sent Tuesday night by the Doings to the OBEA seeking comment was not answered as of press time.