The River Forest District 90 Board of Education approved a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the River Forest Education Association (RFEA) at its regular meeting on June 16. The agreement was ratified by RFEA on June 10 following several months of discussions with the District.
“The agreement acknowledges the value we place on our faculty and recognizes their significant contributions while being respectful of the District’s financial obligations to taxpayers,” said District 90 School Board President Patrick Meyer.
The key components of the agreement, which will be in effect from August 2014 to August 2017, include teacher pay increases tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and a change in health insurance benefits that addresses fiscal responsibility as well as compliance requirements under the Affordable Care Act. The agreement also provides kindergarten through fourth grade classroom teachers with more collaborative meeting time, similar to the structure already in place at Roosevelt Middle School, creating more professional opportunities for teachers to plan and reflect with a shared focus on student learning.
RFEA Co-President Jim Cheney said, "The bargaining teams for the teachers and Board put forth a great deal of effort to get an agreement that recognizes the needs of both sides."
Under the terms of the new contract, teacher salary increases for the 2014-15 school year are set at the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 1.5 percent plus 0.5 percent, for a total of two percent. During the 2015-16 and 2106-17 school years, salary increases will again be tied to the CPI, with a floor of 2.7 percent and a ceiling of five percent.
Health insurance benefits will change to a lower cost, higher deductible plan that is well within the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. That, along with a new Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), combine to provide a continuing high quality benefit to teachers.