The Streator Grade School Board unanimously approved a new teacher-staff contract at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Teachers will continue receiving a pay increase each year of 5 percent of their base pay, as they have for a number of years. On top of that, for the first year of the three-year contract, they will also receive a 2 percent raise, then 1 percent, with no raise the third year.
Support staff do not receive the 5 percent increases every year as do teachers, solely receiving a 4 percent raise the first year, followed by 3 percent and 3 percent.
“It’s a very fair deal for everyone,” said Superintendent Lisa Parker.
The teachers’ union had threatened to strike last month, saying negotiations with the board had broken down at that point.
In connection with financial matters, board member Linda Volkman said the school district is back in the black, thanks to the state getting up to speed on late payments to the district and the district’s own belt tightening. About 42 percent of the district’s funding comes from the state.
With improved finances, board President Michael Holcomb said the fundraising efforts of the Booster Club and the support group Band-Aids are no longer needed to maintain district athletic and music programs. However, he said he hopes they still will help supplement the programs.
Building sale, Oakland rental
As part of reducing costs, the board gave permission Tuesday to Parker to start the process of selling the two-story brick administrative building at 1520 N. Bloomington St. Parker said she needs to determine where administrative staff will be housed before she solicits bids.
The school district also received a request from Blessen Outreach to use the music room at the Oakland School building for a production studio and to make jewelry and crafts. The school closed a few years ago, but space has been used by Streator Community Center and Head Start. Holcomb said the board should put off deciding the Blessen Outreach request until, given the structure’s condition, the structure’s status is determined.