At the December 21, 2023 regular board meeting, the Huntley 158 Board of Education approved a three-year contract (7-0 vote) with the Huntley Education Association (HEA), the union representing the District’s certified staff members. The contract’s term runs from July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2027.
“Our educators are foundational to the success of our district’s mission of educating our students. This contract will go a long way in helping us retain our great teachers as well as recruit excellent teachers in the future,” said Huntley 158 board president Andrew Bittman. “We’re thankful for the collaborative process with our HEA partners and the ability to work respectfully through many tough issues while remaining focused on a positive outcome.”
The new agreement was met with overwhelming approval (85 percent) of HEA members and accomplishes the following objectives:
- Closing the salary gap in comparison to surrounding districts through a competitive salary and benefits package that will assist in the recruitment of quality staff and retainment of current staff
- Providing a collaborative and constructive environment that fosters student growth and achievement
- Increases the starting salary for new teachers to attract recent graduates
- Eliminates wage discrepancies resulting from a longstanding salary freeze
- Ensures a fiscally sound compensation structure for the future
In addition to accomplishing these objectives, the new contract is fiscally responsible to the community’s taxpayers as increases were offset by the district’s savings in operational efficiencies.
“Our staff provide a top-notch educational experience for our students. We recognized that a high priority in these negotiations centered around the need to provide a competitive and comparable contract in terms of salary and benefits,” interim superintendent Jessica Lombard noted. “This contract signifies the district’s commitment to our staff and one that we hope will continue to foster a collaborative and supportive environment among our teachers and administration.”
“Going into this round of negotiations, the HEA came to the table asking for fair and comparable pay and working conditions like that of our surrounding districts,” said Brad Aney, HEA president. “We believe this agreement accomplishes that objective and also ensures our ability to recruit future educators while retaining those hard working individuals that have done so much for our students and the surrounding community.”