Better late than never.
Six months after the previous agreement expired, Kenilworth District 38 and the Kenilworth Education Association agreed March 8 to a three-year contract that applies retroactively to August 2021 and ends before the start of the 2024-’25 school year.
The D38 School Board’s approval of the contract ends a period of strife between the two sides that culminated when about half, or more than 50, of the district’s educators confronted the School Board on Nov. 8.
At that meeting, the teachers bemoaned the district’s treatment of its employees, saying the undervaluing of staff members led to increased and burdensome turnover. The two sides became stuck during negotiations on professional development time, extra time to meet with parents, and compensation and benefits.
“The KEA is grateful to have reached a resolution to this fair agreement,” said Toula Sideris, co-president of the union in a statement. “It is fiscally responsible, while continuing to provide an excellent foundation for our students. We look forward to continuing to honor the mission and four cornerstones of The Joseph Sears School in collaboration with the administrative team and the board of education.”
The final agreement — which can be found HERE — includes a 4 percent pay raise each year for teachers, guaranteed teacher planning time each week, and an early release of students (2 p.m. instead of 3:10 p.m.) each Tuesday to enable professional development, among other things.
According to a press release from the district, the School Board and education association agreed to continue a discussion to potentially modify the teacher-evaluation process.
“I believe the parties have reached an agreement that is fair for our teachers, parents and taxpayers,” said Bill Graham, the newly selected president of the D38 School Board. “I’m hopeful we look back at this experience as a reinforcement of our collective mission to provide the best education possible to our district’s students and families.”
Board of education turnover
Following the resignation of Kenilworth D38 School Board President Evan Lukasik, former board member John Gottschall was tabbed to fill the vacant board seat. Lukasik’s executive position was filled by former vice president Bill Graham
According to the district, Lukasik moved out of the district. Gottschall, the district noted, will not seek reelection when his temporary term expires in 2023.
“After full consideration, the Board felt the direct appointment of a seasoned individual, with established relationships, was the best course for the District in this particular situation,” the district said in a letter to its families.
With the change, Dr. Lisa Metzger-Mugg was elected vice president.
The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.
Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.
Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.