The Evanston/Skokie school board Monday formally signed a four-year contract with the District 65 Educators Council.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Board President Mary Erickson, as she stood side by side with Dorothy Millard, president of the District 65 Educators Council.

Erickson said she believes the contract, which both sides agreed to in November, will foster positive relations with the teachers union.

“This is our hope,” Millard responded. “We are happy to be having this signing today because it means our members will have the hard copy we’ve been asking for.”

Under the contract most District 65 teachers will get raises totaling 27 percent over four years.

All teachers will receive annual increases of 3.5 percent, except for a 3.25 percent increase in the second year.

The nearly 80 percent of teachers who are not already at the top of the salary scale will also receive seniority-based increases of 2.73 percent each year.

The agreement also increases the length of the school day by 10 minutes in the elementary schools and 20 minutes in the middle schools, starting this fall.

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