Kaneland approves teacher contract

By on March 15, 2012

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland School Board members on Monday voted 7-0 to approve a 2012-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Kaneland Education Association (KEA).

The KEA and School Board on Feb. 24 finished an interest-based bargaining process that led to a tentative agreement, which was then ratified by the KEA on March 11. The three-year deal will go into effect on July 1 and remain in place until June 30, 2015.

According to a District 302 press release, the KEA has agreed to a salary freeze in the first year of the contract as a means to assist the School District in addressing current revenue challenges. Year two of the deal will yield an overall increase of 2.7 percent for Kaneland teachers. Salary in year three will be determined when the contract is reopened at that time.

“Settling a new collective bargaining agreement was identified in our strategic plan as (a) key target for the district,” Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “The willingness of the Kaneland Education Association to recognize the financial picture of the School District and align compensation accordingly was critical to the health of our School District.”

The deal will also include an increase in health insurance deductibles for single and family coverage ($500 and $900, respectively), effective Jan. 1, 2015. According to the press release, the District Insurance Committee will work collaboratively to investigate possible alternate cost savings options for health insurance

“The district and the KEA agreed to train in and use an interest-based negotiations approach, and I was impressed at what an improvement this alternative was over the type of positional labor relations/ negotiations utilized in the past,” School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said.