The following is a release from the Gower School District 62 Board of Education:
The Gower Board of Education is pleased to announce it unanimously approved a new three-year agreement with the Gower Education Association (GEA) at its Dec. 18 board meeting. The agreement will run through the 2014-15 school year.
The school board and GEA worked together and achieved three primary goals:
- Recognizing the district’s teachers for the continued strong academic performance;
- Controlling teacher salary expense during each of the next three years; and
- Redesigning the health care plan to help moderate future insurance costs for the district.
“Despite a slow economic recovery, our teachers are receiving raises each year. This is possible and fiscally prudent, in part, because of the savings from changes to our health insurance plans and the continued retirements of a number of our veteran teachers," Board President Ryan Asmus said. "In fact, the District’s cost for staffing our classrooms in 2014-15 will be roughly the same as this school year.”
The board and GEA agreed to make no changes to the District’s retirement benefit which recognizes retiring teachers with a 6 percent raise during each of their final three years of teaching.
Approximately one-half of Gower’s 70 teachers are paid “on index” according to a salary schedule while the other half are paid “off index.”
For 2012-13, the starting base salary was increased 1 percent to $44,682, resulting in an average on-index raise 3.6 percent. Non-retiring off-index teachers received a 3.0 percent raise.
In 2013-14, the starting base salary will increase by 1.2 percent to $45,218, resulting in an average on-index raise of 3.8 percent. Non-retiring off-index teachers will receive a 3.2 percent raise.
In 2014-2015, the starting base salary will increase by 1.4 percent to $45,852, resulting in an average on-index raise of 3.9 percent. Non-retiring off-index teachers will receive a 3.5 percent raise.
Recognizing the importance of teacher support for extracurricular activities, the Board also agreed to increase stipends for these activities by 4 percent.
Like most employers, health insurance premiums have continued to rise every year in the Gower district. The board and GEA agreed to delay the various health insurance plan changes until the 2013-14 school year, which are expected to reduce the district’s rising health care costs by approximately 2 percent to 5 percent each year.
As always, the public can find administrator and teacher compensation reports on the District’s website under “About Us” – “Financial Information.”