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Woodridge Local School District Board of Education OKs two-year contract for teachers union

by Steve Wiandt | reporter Published: August 21, 2016 12:00 AM

The Woodridge Board of Education on Aug. 16 unanimously approved a new two-year contract for members of the district's teachers union.

Under the deal, the members of the Woodridge Education Association will receive a 1 percent compensation increase in their base pay in the first 92 days of the 2016-17 school year, another 1 percent hike in base pay for the last 93 days of the 2016-17 school year and a 2 percent increase in base pay in the 2017-18 school year.

According to the new contract, employees will pay 12 percent of their medical and dental insurance premiums. This is the same percentage they paid during the 2015-16 school year. The district pays the rest of the premium.

The deal is in effect from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2018.

"Although we did spend quite a bit of time in negotiations, I think the spirit of collaboration that we have with both of the associations is something that needs to be recognized," said Superintendent Walter Davis. "They're just a great group of people, both OAPSE and WEA folks. Granted we'll be back at it sooner than we had hoped, because these are both two-year agreements, but that's OK. I think it's clear we all have the best interest of our students in mind. And I think this is a very fair and appropriate contract for the next two years."

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"Our WEA members overwhelmingly approved the new contract with the BOE on Monday, Aug. 15 (133 approved, 2 opposed)," WEA President Guy Bonnay told the Falls News-Press. "Both sides worked hard to achieve the agreement, and we certainly appreciate the efforts of Mr. Davis, our superintendent, his staff and the Board of Education. It is good to begin the new school year with a two-year contract approved by both parties."

"It was an experience, but a good experience," said Board President Tammy Heffernan. "I think anybody that wants to should have a chance to sit in on one of the negotiating teams to see what it's all about."

On June 28, the Woodridge Board of Education unanimously OK'd a two-year contract with the union representing the district's instructional assistants, transportation department, food service, custodial, maintenance, and secretarial employees. The deal with OAPSE Local 544 provides a 1 percent increase in the base pay rate for every job in each of the two years of the contract. The pact went into effect July 1 and runs through June 30, 2018.

Students in the district returned to classes on Aug. 17.

Also on Aug. 17, the board unanimously approved raises for district administrators and the superintendent consistent with the teacher raises. Davis's 2016-17 salary will be $118,449.93 and his 2017-18 salary will be $120,818.93.

Email: swiandt@recordpub.com

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