Komarek School (Photo courtesy of Komarek School District 94)

Teachers at Komarek School in North Riverside will get a 1.75 percent pay raise this year while their union and district officials prepare to negotiate a new long-term deal.

The contract between the teachers union and Komarek expired at the end of the 2020-21 school year, but instead of trying to negotiate a new contract in the midst of a pandemic the school board and the union agreed to extend the contract for one more year, along with a 1.25 percent raise.

The starting salary at Komarek School for a teacher with a B.A. and no previous experience is $42,472.

Riverside Elementary School District 96 took a different approach. The school board, administration and teachers union recently concluded negotiations on a new contract after negotiating for about three months over Zoom. 

Teachers will not vote on the new contract until school resumes in August.

“We are pleased that this process wrapped prior to the start of the school year,” said Jeff Wyrda, a fourth-grade teacher at Ames School and the co-president of the Riverside Education Council, the District 96 teachers union. “Historically, this hasn’t been the case. We believe this result is a testament to the dedication and willingness of both teams to listen, collaborate and problem-solve to attain a fair and complete package.”

Brad Meyer, an instrumental music teacher at L.J. Hauser Junior High School is the other new co-president of the REC this year. They take over from Jen Ohlman and Katie Kayastha, who were the co-presidents last year.

Riverside District 96 Superintendent Martha Ryan-Toye declined to discuss the details of the new contract until teachers vote on the new contract. School board President Dan Hunt and Wesley Muirheid were the board members on the negotiating committee.

Ryan-Toye receives raise

At its July 21 meeting, the District 96 school board also voted 5-0 to give Ryan-Toye a 3-percent raise, in line with raises given to other district administrators. The raise brings Ryan-Toye’s annual salary to $205,432.

The school board also voted 5-0 to approve a new contract with the Teamsters Union which represents the district’s custodians. The new four-year deal will give the current custodians 3-percent raises for each of the next four years.

Any new custodians that are hired will start off earning $16.37 an hour and will receive 2-percent annual raises.

— ­Bob Skolnik