D181 school board, support staff union approve contract

The Community Consolid-ated Elementary District 181 Board and the Hinsdale Educational Support Staff have approved a new four-year contract.

The agreement calls for most HESS members to receive a 5 percent increase in 2022-23, and all members will earn a 3 percent increase in 2023-24, according to a joint press release issued Tuesday. Wage increases in the final two years of the contract will be based on the consumer price index, the rate used in the district’s annual tax levy.

“The final outcome reflects our strong commitment to the staff, acknowledges the market conditions and maintains our fiscal responsibility to the community,” board President Michael Martin stated in the release. “Negotiations can often be long and difficult, so we sincerely appreciate the collaborative spirit of the HESS association and the tireless efforts of our board members and administrators involved in the process.”

The board approved the contract at a special meeting Dec. 5 following union ratification Nov. 29.

“The HESS Negotiating Committee appreciates the efforts of the D181 Board and administration to bring a fair contract to our membership,” stated Gerianne Salach, HESS president. “We would like to thank our membership for their continued support during negotiations as well as for the support they provide to students in our district every day.”

Superintendent Hector Garcia noted the important role support staff members play in students’ education.

“We are pleased with the outcome and appreciate the collaborative nature of the discussions with the HESS team as well as support from our board of education and administrative team,” Garcia said.