Skip To Main Content
* Offers Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) special program
** Offers Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) & Gifted Academy special programs
*** Offers Adult Education program

RPS 205 Teachers Agree to 4-Year Contract 

The Rockford School Board tonight approved a four-year collective bargaining agreement with the Rockford Education Association, the Rockford Public Schools teacher union. The agreement is effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2025.  

The contract is made up of an estimated $17.5M in increased compensation for REA members, which are made up of largely of teachers, counselors, school psychologists and nurses. The contract will cost the district nearly $594M over four years.  

“We believe this is a fair contract and hope that it offers our members some stability,” said REA President Mel Gilfillan. “We’re glad to put this work behind us and look forward to a great start to the school year.” 

"This agreement improves our compensation structure to make us more regionally competitive to attract and retain teachers and staff," said RPS 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett.  "The contract length also gives our staff and their families some predictability and stability as we continue to navigate through the pandemic. I am proud of this administration and School Board for investing in excellent staff for our students while holding the tax levy nearly flat for nine years.” 

The REA is made up of approximately 2,000 professional staff, many of whom hold advanced degrees and are the district’s No. 1 resource to improve student outcomes and provide exceptional education to Rockford Public Schools’ roughly 28,000 students.  

Contract highlights

Salary: The base salary for a first-year teacher will increase by 20 percent over the life of the contract. A first-year teacher will earn a base salary of $41,365 in the 2021-22 school year; a first-year teacher will earn a base salary of $47,958 in the 2024-25 school year.  

A first-year teacher’s salary will grow from $41,365 in the first year of the contract to $56,104 in the final year of the contract – a 35 percent increase. On the high end of the pay scale, an experienced teacher with 20+ years of experience and a master’s degree plus 40 credit hours will earn a salary of $94,319 in the first year of the contract, compared to $100,912 in the final year of the contract – a nearly 7 percent increase.  

This plan will help RPS 205 attract and retain new teachers and make RPS 205 more competitive in the education labor market. The contract continues to fairly compensate the district’s most senior, experienced teachers. Every teacher will receive a $2,000 base pay increase. Most will receive an additional $1,850 each year.  

Work day: All REA members will have the same work day length – seven hours and 15 minutes – regardless of their school or grade level. Any added time is for non-instructional professional duties, such as planning instruction, grading, and consulting or collaborating with parents, teachers and other staff. 

Missed planning period pay: Teachers who miss a planning period -- to cover for an absent staff member because of a substitute teacher shortage or another school activity, for example – will be paid $27.50 for that missed planning period, an increase from $22.50 in the previous contract. That hourly payment is on top of their existing salary. 

Health insurance premiums: Health insurance premiums for the PPO1000 plan – including wellness plan participation – for REA members will increase: 

  • from 12.5 percent 14 percent of the total cost of insurance premium in 2021-22. 
  • to 16 percent of the total cost of insurance premium in 2022-23. 
  • to 18 percent of the total cost of insurance premium in 2023-24. 
  • to 20 percent of the total cost of insurance premium in 2024-25. 

Differentials & stipends: Differentials or salary stipends paid for extra work and responsibilities – such as coaching, sponsoring a club or other duties performed outside of the normal job duties – will increase by more than 20 percent over the life of the contract. 

REA Contract 2021-2025

  • Rockford Education Association