D161 approves collective bargaining agreement

At a May 20 meeting, the Flossmoor 161 Board of Education ratified a bargaining agreement with the Flossmoor Education Association representing staff at the district’s five schools.

According to board documents, the agreement will enhance the overall compensation of certified and classified employees. District officials and administrators believe the changes will help them attract and retain high-quality staff members.

The agreement outlines a structured salary and benefit increases for bargaining members over four years. Certified staff will see a 6.96% increase in their earnings for the 2024-25 school year, while classified staff will get an 8% raise. For each remaining year, certified staff salaries will increase by 5%. Classified staff will receive increases of 4.5% in 2025-26, 4.3% in 2026-27 and 4.1% in 2027-28. 

Certified staff are the district’s teachers. Classified staff are all full-time and regularly employed part-time custodial employees, maintenance, administrative assistants, clerks, paraprofessionals, library clerks, bookkeepers, bus drivers and safety aides.

As part of the new agreement, additional time will be allocated for staff members’ professional development, collaboration and educational experience planning. A new tiered sick leave system incentivizes staff attendance. More stipends have also been added for elementary and junior high extracurricular clubs to expand the range of student activities.

Superintendent Dana Smith said, “I want to commend both sides of this negotiation process for their professionalism, communication, willingness to understand the difficult issues and to do the hard work needed to create effective solutions for both sides.”

“I’ve been on the board for a while now, and this has been one of the smoothest experiences associated with this process,” Board President Carolynn Griggs said. 

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