Chesterton Tribune



Duneland teachers to get raises in 2020 and 2021

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The Duneland School Board and administration unveiled the highlights of a new two-year contract for the Duneland Teachers Association (DTA) at a special meeting Tuesday night.

The School Board is scheduled to vote formally on the new contract at its next meeting, 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4. At that time the public will have an opportunity to comment on it.


--Salary: Eligible teachers will receive a $3,000 increase to their base salary plus a $1,500 stipend in 2020, with a salary range of $42,000 to $75,235. In 2021 eligible teachers will receive a $2,500 increase in their base salary plus a stipend of $2,000, with a salary range of $44,000 to $77,235.

--Health insurance: In 2020 the Duneland School Corporation (DSC) will contribute $8,100 for a single and $18,636 for a family under the standard healthcare plan; $6,984 for a single and $16,200 for a family under a high deductible plan, with an additional one-time contribution to Health Savings Accounts of $1,884 for a single and $3,564 for a family, to “take the fear out of trying a consumer drive plan”; plus a contribution to the HSA of $1,116 for a single and $2,436 for a family. DSC will contribute no less than the same amounts in 2021 and may contribute more up to certain maximum amounts.

--403(b) annuities: For teachers who contribute to an employer-approved 403(b) annuity plan, DSC will match their contributions up to $200 per school year.

--Extracurricular: $180,000 has been added to the extracurricular staff fund. “Teachers identified this early on as something they wanted to address,” Superintendent Chip Petitt said. “Staff will still make nickels on the dollar,” he added, but the point is to show appreciation for the coaches’ efforts.

--Professional development: $40,000 will be allocated per contract year to the Professional Development Stipend Fund. A one-time stipend can be earned by participating in approved professional development programming, with every point earned valued at $50, up to $1,000 per school year.

--Leave of absence: The new contract more specifically defines “immediate family” for those teachers caring for a sick relative or grieving a late relative.

--Teacher attendance: Teachers with no sick or personal days for an entire school year will be eligible for a stipend of $600; with one sick or personal day, $500; with only two, $400; and with three, $300.

--Advanced degrees: A Ph.D. has been added to the current Master’s degree for teachers eligible to receive a one-time stipend of $1,000 and a supplemental base salary increase of $2,000.

After the meeting, DTA chief negotiator Bob DeRuntz expressed his gratitude to the School Board and administration for their collaboration in crafting a new contract, as well as to the community for overwhelmingly voting in favor last May of a new seven-year referendum.

“I want to thank our administration for their willingness to work together as a team with the Duneland Teachers Association on this contract to provide the best for our teachers and students,” DeRuntz told the Chesterton Tribune. “I also want to thank our community, whose referendum support for our schools has provided the resources for Duneland to remain competitive with the highest paying districts in the region. The collaboration required for this contract represents the Duneland Difference and will help to make Duneland the destination for families and great teachers, so we can continue to provide the very best for our community and our students.”


Posted 10/24/2019




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