News - McHenry County

District 26, Cary Education Association reach new four-year contract agreement

Cary Community Consolidated School District 26 and its teachers represented by the Cary Education Association have reached an agreement on a new labor contract with annual pay increases, according to a news release.

The union ratified the new four-year pact July 27 and the school board approved it Aug. 1, according to the release. The deal calls for salary increases each year of 3.75%, 3.75%, 3.56% and 3.56%. It runs from August 2022 to the day before the first day of the 2026-27 school year.

“After months of negotiations, the District 26 School Board and Cary Education Association were successful in reaching an agreement that will benefit the Cary community, students and teachers. This agreement will result in an increase in the ability of the District to hire and retain the best teachers for our students,” CEA Co-Presidents Annette Bear and Laura Whyte said in a joint statement. “The School Board and CEA displays a genuine unified commitment in the collaborative process that underscores the success that can be achieved when we work together.”

In addition to the salary increases, the agreement calls for the district’s contribution to teachers’ single dental and medical insurance to increase from 70% to 75% of the premium. The union’s sick day allotments were increased by one day a year and teachers may now take four bereavement days after the death of a family member, up from three days in the previous contract. A tuition reimbursement program also has been instituted to encourage teachers to pursue advanced educational and professional training.

School Board President Deanna “Dee” Darling, who participated in the negotiations, said in the release that she thought the deal was “mutually beneficial for everyone involved.

“This agreement is both fair to our teachers and to the taxpayers who support our public schools,” Darling said in the release.