New deal includes pay hikes for Gower teachers in Burr Ridge
Updated: February 25, 2013 2:22AM
The Gower Elementary District 62 School Board has unanimously approved a new 3-year deal with its teachers.
“Despite a slow economic recovery, our teachers are receiving raises each year,” said Ryan Asmus, board president.
For 2012-2013, the starting base salary was increased 1 percent to $44,682, resulting in an average raise for on-index teachers of 3.6 percent. Non-retiring teachers with more than 18 years of service will receive a 3 percent raise.
Superintendent Steve Griesbach said about half of the district’s 70 teachers fall into that category.
In 2013-2014, the starting base salary will increase by 1.2 percent to $45,218, resulting in an average on-index raise of 3.8 percent. Non-retiring teachers with more than 18 years of service will receive a 3.2 percent raise.
In 2014-2015, the starting base salary will increase by 1.4 percent to $45,852, resulting in an average on-index raise of 3.9 percent. Non-retiring teachers with more than 18 years of service will receive a 3.5 percent raise.
Teachers who take on extracurricular activities will see a 4 percent increase in their stipend.
“This is possible and fiscally prudent, in part, because of the savings from changes to our health insurance plans and the continued retirements of a number of our veteran teachers,” said Asmus, who added that the district’s staffing costs in 2014-15 will be roughly equal to this year’s cost.
The contract makes no changes to the district’s retirement benefit, which recognizes retiring teachers with a 6 percent raise during each of their final three years of teaching.
Like most employers, health insurance premiums have continued to rise every year in the Gower district. The board and teachers agreed to delay plan changes until the 2013-2014 school year. Once in place, anticipated changes are expected to reduce the district’s rising health care costs by approximately 2 percent to 5 percent each year.
Teachers at Gower West Elementary and Gower Middle schools have been working without a contract since before school began this year. The deal was reached following months of negotiations, which ended with three mediation sessions.~.