Press Release

MENDOTA – Tonight, the Mendota Education Association (MEA) elementary and middle school teachers officially got a new contract. The MEA voted to ratify the contract on Sat., Oct. 26, and tonight the Mendota District 289 Board of Education (BOE) also voted to ratify the agreement.

“This is an amazing contract. We fought hard to get these wins for our students and our community. We truly believe this contract is a step in the right direction and will help us keep talented educators in Mendota for years to come,” MEA Co-Vice President Brandon Scheppers said. “We couldn’t have done this without parents and community members by our side. Thank you to all for your support and encouragement.”

MEA is made up of 76 elementary members from District 289 (D289) and 39 high school teachers from School District 280 (D280). The D289 elementary teachers went on strike on Wed., Oct. 16. Teachers went back to school on Mon., Oct. 28, after ratifying their new contract agreement over the weekend. District 289 serves 1,170 students and has three schools.

“This contract shows just how important it is for educators to use their collective voice. When we stand together, we can successfully advocate for our students, our schools and our community,” MEA Co-Vice President Rachel Sabin said. “Strikes are difficult for everyone involved, but when we look at this contract, we can honestly say our efforts were worth it. Our students are coming out ahead, and that’s what’s most important.”

MEA’s new agreement includes the following wins for Mendota students:

  • Make up days: Students were out of school for eight days during the strike. All eight days will be made up as part of the contract agreement, ensuring students will not lose any instructional time.
  • Plan time: MEA fought to preserve plan time because without it educators would have had less time to prepare for individual students’ needs, less time to communicate with parents, less time to collaborate with other teachers and less time to prepare materials.
  • Salary: The new contract maintains MEA’s salary schedule and includes salary increases for each year of the 3-year contract. Teacher pay will continue to be based on experience and education, which means D289 will be better positioned to attract and retain high-quality educators.
    • Salary increases are as follows:
      • Year 1: 4 percent
      • Year 2: 4.5 percent
      • Year 3: 4 percent

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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.