Urbana approves teacher contract
URBANA — The Urbana school board Wednesday unanimously approved a three-year contract with the Urbana Education Association, which represents about 500 teachers and support staff members.
The contract includes a 3.1 percent increase for teachers over each of the next three years, which includes step increases. A step increase is when teachers get credit for another year worked and a bump in pay.
For support staff members covered by the contract, it includes a 4 percent raise in the first year, including step increases, and 3.1 percent increases in the second and third year of the contract.
The school board will contribute 82 percent of individual health premiums in the first and second year of the contract, and 83 percent in the third year.
Board president John Dimit praised the union for its "realistic approach," saying it obviously recognized what was best for the school district and students.
The school board also approved salary increases and benefits for non-union support staff members and administrators that match the contract. That means a 3.1 percent salary increase.
Beth Hand, the most recent Urbana Education Association president, said 93 percent of the union ratified the contract.
"I think we came up with a fair and equitable contract for the (union) and the school district," Hand said, adding that a three-year contract not only gives the school district some stability, but also teachers, because they know what to expect when it comes to their salary and insurance costs.
Read more about the new contract in Thursday's News-Gazette.