During a regular meeting on Dec. 8, the District 209 school board unanimously approved a new contract with the Proviso Teachers Union, according to a statement the district released on Dec. 8.

The new contract includes a 3.4 percent salary increase for teachers, which administrators said will be “paid retroactively to the beginning of the school year.”

Administrators said the Proviso Teachers Union has also already ratified the contract. So far, it isn’t clear how long the contract will last nor how many teachers voted for ratification.

In a statement, D209 board President Rodney Alexander said the district is “moving forward with a contract, recognizing that our teachers set the tone for success in the classroom. But let me be clear. We fully expect them to do their very best to ensure our students – most of whom continue to show up to class, are not being left behind when they are struggling to grasp a concept or adjust to this new reality.”

“We value our teachers and recognize the critical role they play in making sure our students achieve academic success,” said D209 Supt. James Henderson. “I am thankful that the Board accepted my recommendation to a pay raise in the midst of these challenging times, while still being aligned with our fiscal planning. Our team is prepared to act swiftly to adjust salaries and issue retroactive payments.”

A representative with the union could not be immediately reached on Wednesday evening and a copy of the contract was not in the district’s agenda packet for the Dec. 8 meeting.

More as this story develops.