After one of the longest periods of negotiations in decades, a process which necessitated the services of a federal mediator, the Forest Park Teachers Association (FPTA) and the District 91 school board have reached an agreement on a new contract. The teachers approved the contract on Aug. 21, and the school board met Monday night to unanimously ratify it. 

Entitled the “2019-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement Between the Board of Education of Forest Park School District 91 and the Forest Park Teachers’ Association,” the 45-page document outlines agreements related to all facets of teachers’ jobs, from evaluation procedures to working conditions. It includes a “no strike clause,” which states that the teachers “agree not to strike, not to participate in any work stoppage or slow down, and not to in any way engage in any concerted job action which would materially interfere with the operation or administration of the district.”

At the heart of the conflict, however, was how much the teachers’ salary increase should be. As specified in the agreement, “There is no longer a salary schedule.” In the first year of the agreement, teachers’ pay will be increased by 6.5 percent of their 2018-2019 salaries. In the second year, “teachers will have their 2019-2020 salary increased by 3 percent for the 2020-2021 school year.” In the third year of the contract, the 2021-2022 school year, salaries will be “increased by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers percentage figure.”

Monique Cotton, District 91 school board member, says she’s “glad that we now have a contract. The teachers in our schools are a big reason I have made Forest Park my home.” 

During Monday’s meeting, the board also voted to approve employment agreements for principals at all District 91 schools, as well as the Assistant Principal at Forest Park Middle School. Additionally, the board approved other employment agreements, including Director and Assistant Director of Special Education, Lead Custodian, Public Relations/Communications Manager, and Network Coordinator.