With the current four-year teachers contract running out, and the fate of the state budget still uncertain, the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board announced Wednesday it had inked a one-year contract extension with the District 202 Teachers Council.
The extension, which covers the period of July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, includes a 0.8 percent base increase on the salary schedule, plus a $275 one-time payment, and a step increase, where applicable.
Both Superintendent Eric Witherspoon and Teachers Council President Bill Farmer, in a joint news release, blamed the state budget uncertainties for failure to agree on the usual multi-year contract and pledged to continue good-faith negotiating during the upcoming school year.
“Recognizing the importance of our teachers and given the precarious financial situation in the State of Illinois, we sought to reach a fair and affordable agreement in negotiations,” stated Witherspoon.
“Uncertainty around school funding for public schools in Illinois persists and poses significant challenges for long-range, sustainable budget planning for districts across the state,” said Farmer.
Farmer expressed a commitment on behalf of the Teachers’ Council to “continue to engage in collaborative, good faith negotiations during the upcoming school year with the shared goal of balancing fiscal responsibility with both the enhancement of student learning conditions and the district’s ability to attract and retain an exceptional faculty.”
Witherspoon added: “The two teams negotiated respectfully in good faith and crafted a one-year extension together. Agreement was reached prior to the end of the school year. We will closely monitor the next legislative session to better understand the future impact of legislative actions on our school district.”