Asks board to work together to address needs of all educators
CARY — The Cary Education Association (CEA) last night voted down the latest tentative agreement proposed by the Cary Community Consolidated School District 26. The vote comes after tense negotiation sessions with District 26. The two sides have been bargaining since March. The CEA has been working without a contract since Aug. 19.
“The teachers of District 26 have used their collective voice to send a message to the Cary Board of Education,” said CEA Co-president Annette Bear. “Our members have suffered through several years of pay cuts and salary freezes. Our take home pay has actually declined over the last decade. We continue to lose quality educators to neighboring districts. We need to do better.”
The CEA represents 200 teachers in District 26’s five schools and serves the district’s 2,478 students. District 26 has lost 56 percent of its new (zero to six years of experience) teachers to neighboring districts like Crystal Lake, Barrington and Huntley due to lower pay and rising health insurance costs.
“Investing in our teachers is an investment in our community,” said Bear. “Most of our members live in Cary. If we want the Cary School District to continue to grow and remain competitive, we have to attract and retain high quality educators. That starts with investing in our current educators.”
The district has funds to meet the requests of CEA’s members without raising property taxes on the community.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.