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D304 teachers contract includes pay freeze

Updated: December 22, 2012 6:27AM

GENEVA — District 304 teachers might see their step and lane increases disappear after 2015 along with their pre-retirement salary boosts, according to the new three-year contract that the Board of Education approved Monday. Geneva Education Association members approved the contract last Wednesday.

In addition to a one-year pay freeze for most teachers, the contract includes a “letter of understanding” that a committee of teachers and administrators will “address the issue of future compensation for teachers,” according to a press release issued by the board, with the expectation that it will evaluate the traditional step-and-lane salary schedule.

In the 2013 school year, teachers will receive a 2.65 percent step increase, except for beginning teachers, who will get a $1,000 raise. Teachers also will be able to earn one 2.65 percent lane increase, subject to board approval. In 2014-15, teachers will receive a 2.65 step increase, plus a salary schedule raise of two-tenths of a percent, for a total raise of 2.85 percent. They also will be able to earn one lane increase.

The contract also states that the early retirement option program will end July 1, 2013, and the non-ERO retirement program will end Aug. 15, 2015.

But the pay freeze dominated public discussion at the meeting. “This contract has been a very long and difficult process for everybody, and I wanted to thank the teachers for making the same sacrifices that the rest of our employees have made,” said board President Mark Grosso, who noted that non-union employees took a pay freeze last year. “I just wanted to ask everybody, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, to start mending any strained relationships that resulted from it.”

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