Alton School Board & Teachers Association reach contract agreement

ALTON — The School Board and Alton Teachers Association (ATA) have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 that would lengthen the school year while increasing the employees contribution to their health insurance premiums and providing teacher with two annual salary increases of 2 percent.

The total cost of the salary increase is $96,472 for the first year of the agreement and $95,599 for the second. Voters will be asked to approve funding for both years of the contract.

Three instructional days would be added to the schedule in 2014-2015, extending the school year to 183 days and another in 2015-2016 when pupils will be taught for 184 days. In addition to step increases for eligible employees, teachers would receive a 2 percent raise in each year of the contract. Teachers, who currently contribute 10 percent to the cost of their health insurance premiums, would contribute 12 percent for the length of the contract.

In a prepared statement School Superintendent William Lander said, "It is important to recognize and reward all the hard work and dedication of our terrific teachers."

Richard Brown, president of the ATA, described the contract as "a just one" in the current economic conditions, adding that "it asserts positive and predictable working conditions while being fair to both Alton faculty and citizenry."