The Butler School District 53 Board of Education and the Oak Brook Education Association (OBEA) have agreed to a new five-year contract covering the 46 full-time and 10 part-time faculty members in the District.
The contract was approved by the OBEA on Aug. 16 and was ratified by the Board of Education at its meeting Sept. 4. The new contract will run until June 30, 2023.
Board Vice President Dr. Sally Beatty and Board Member Chris Edmonds represented the Board in the negotiations. “We are grateful to everyone who worked so hard at the table and behind the scenes to come to a collaborative agreement,” said Dr. Beatty. “The teams devoted a tremendous amount of time, energy and thought to achieve the successful outcome of a contract that is both competitive to attract top talent and fiscally responsible to members of the community.” She added, “and, we hope this sets us up for another successful negotiation to celebrate in five years when this one expires.”
Key terms include:
● A graduated annual salary increase averaging 3.5 percent over the term of the agreement.
● Enhanced health insurance benefits for all members of OBEA. The Board will continue to provide contributions for PPO, HMO and HSA premiums. The Board and teachers will split the yearly premium increase equally each new coverage period where the increase is above 10 percent of the prior year.
● The retirement incentive option has been amended to comply with current state law. The contract also adds a second option for retiring teachers who elect post-retirement benefits. Eligible employees may choose to take a one-time post-retirement payment toward a 403b sheltered annuity provided it does not exceed the annual IRS limit, or they may elect limited Board contributions for single employee TRS insurance coverage (T.H.I.S).
● A 25% increase in educational reimbursement for additional qualified post-graduate work.
● Increased the starting salary to $49,000 for the first three years of the contract. In Year 4 and 5, the starting salary will go up to $50,000.
● The new agreement calls for increased investment by the District for extra duty stipends. The additional dollars will fund the following new opportunities, including: Exploremore Day Teacher Chair, Musical Artistic Director, Broadcast Club and Homework Opportunity.
“We are extremely proud of our teachers for their commitment to this bargaining process and for their commitment to children,” said Dr. Heidi Wennstrom, Superintendent of D53. “We look forward to a continued focus on providing exceptional educational experiences for our students.
Ellen Wozny, President of the OBEA, said the negotiations were fair, collaborative and respectful. “We are pleased for our membership and enthusiastic about what this contract means for the future of our teachers, students and the District,” she said.
“These raises are sustainable and provide a strong incentive for faculty while allowing the District to maintain our solid fund balances for future needs,” said Dr. Sandra Martin, Business Manager for Butler 53.