A new collective bargaining agreement between the Alton Education Association and the Alton School District was made official with a unanimous vote of approval by board members during last night’s meeting.

The three-year contract includes a 1.9% increase for certified staff during the first year and a step movement of 2.4% during the second and third years of the deal. Non-certified staff receive an average increase of 2.5% the first year with step movements of 2% during the final two years of the contract. The contract will cost the district an estimated $500-thousand during the first year and $640-thousand during the second and third years according to District Director of Financial Services Chris Norman.

Superintendent Dr. Ken Spells says he was more excited about a different part of the approved agreement.

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The additional instruction time could be implemented as early as the second semester. It will be used to focus on areas such as math, science and English.  Additionally, the district will also continue to pay 100-percent of full-time employees’ individual health insurance.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com)