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D46 School Board and Teachers' Union Post Final Contract Offers

The best and final contract offers from the Grayslake District 46 School Board and teachers' union have been posted for public view. The unresolved issues are related to salary, retirement and flex benefits in lieu of medical insurance.

Nine days after teachers in Grayslake District 46 voted to authorize a strike as a result of the school board declaring an impasse in contract negotiations, both sides have made their best and final offers available for public inspection.

Negotiations will continue, however.

Jim Pergander, a representative for the Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504, said the first negotiation session with a federal mediator will take place Tuesday, Oct. 30.

By law, the union must give 10 days strike notice.

Final offers

As required by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the best and final offers from the school board and union have posted on the State of Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board Website. Patch has also attached the PDFs to this article.

According to the documents, the school board and union have reached a tentative agreement on all non-economic items brought forth during negotiations, but sticking points remain related to salary, retirement and flex benefits teachers can receive in lieu of health insurance.

The board is also offering the union a one-year contract for the 2012-13 school year. The union wants two years.

  • The board proposes a salary freeze with no step or lane changes. The union proposes a 3 percent increase that would cost $494,586 for the 2012-13 school year and $509,424 for the 2013-14 school year.
  • The board proposes reducing the retirement option of receiving up to four years of 6 percent increases to three years of 5 percent increases.
  • The board proposes reducing flex benefits from $6,292 to $3,146 and using the money saved to fund a $1,300 per teacher bonus, excluding teachers who've submitted their notice of retirement.
  • The board proposes a pay freeze on extra duty and other stipends, while the union proposes a 2.5 percent increase that would cost $7,341 for the 2012-13 school year and $7,524 2013-14 school year.

According to the union:

Teachers in Grayslake Consolidated Community School District 46 have offered a fair contract proposal that the district can afford. The board’s proposed pay freeze with a small stipend would actually cause teachers to see a cut in their take home pay when you consider the cuts to insurance benefits.

Teachers’ salaries are already below average when compared to area districts and the board’s proposal would make them even less competitive.

The school district still has a solid $8.2 million surplus as reported to the Illinois State Board of Education in the most recent financial report that is available. The district can afford to make teachers in the classroom a priority.

Teachers’ have made concessions in the past to help the district’s financial status and they are still willing to negotiate a fair agreement, but they don’t believe the board’s demand for severe cuts is necessary.

According to the school board:

Community Consolidated School District 46 has weathered the economic challenges of the last several years. During this period, the school district managed to avoid the significant staff cuts so many other school districts were forced to enact. Also, during this period, the board of education continued to provide salary increases to its teachers.

It is important to understand that for the last ten-plus years, the school district’s teachers have always received a salary increase. Even in the 2010-2011 school year, when the teachers agreed to forego a portion of their negotiated salary increase, the school district ended up paying each teacher a stipend from ARRA funds such that they actually made more money that year than they originally negotiated.

Unfortunately, due to the protracted down-turn in the national, state, and local economies, the school district’s available resources cannot keep pace with anticipated expenses.

According to the board, the district will see a $1.45 million reduction in general state aid compared with 2012, and federal grant revenue is anticipated to decrease by about 25 percent. The board says the district cannot make up these decreases in revenue through its tax levy

The board also says it has no other sources of revenue to pay teacher salary increases, nor does it have any available long-term borrowing capacity.

Last month, the board passed a 2012-13 budget that includes a $1.28 million deficit.

D46 Teachers' Union Approves Authorization to Strike if Necessary

Grayslake D46 Teachers' Union Prepares to Vote to Authorize a Strike

Vote to Extend D46 Superintendent Contract Fails

Grayslake Business Owners Plead with D46 to Stop Raising Taxes

Grayslake D46 Approves Deficit Budget

Grayslake D46 Board Looks To Plug $1.25 Million Budget Deficit

District 46 School Board Fails To Pass Budget

POLL: How Do You Rate Your School Board And School Board Members?

Tim Froehlig October 26, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Our kids deserve better than this. And if either of you cannot understand this, you do not belong on a school board to begin with. Every time I think it can't get worse, or more shocking, it does. Where does it stop? Seriously.
HM October 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Terri - all steps in the right direction. However, I stand by freezing when there are deficits. You can not spend what you don't have. We can not afford to borrow, or deplete the fund balance, as we are not in a position to replenish that balance. My hope would be that in 3 to 4 years, the budget issues would be stabilized and moving in the right direction, so raises could be reinstated. Regarding "padding pensions" - a rose by any other name is still a rose. Is there anything in writing about the "promise" to backload salaries , thus increasing pension amounts during a teachers final 3 to 5 years? I ask sincerely - I think most people think it may be something that is just "understood". I'm not sure. In either case, the state of Illinois is so backlogged with unfunded pension liabilities that there has to be change. We cannot continue to do something just because we "always" did it. The way I see it, you freeze the pension structure as of a particular date, so that everyone, up to that time, gets what was promised, and moving forward, it just has to change. This is why most private sector companies froze pension plans and began to offer employees the opportunity to invest in 401(k) plans - no one can afford pay their entire workforce for years after the employees retire, until the time that the emplyees die.
Terri October 26, 2012 at 08:54 PM
HM Thank you..."pension-padding" has a negative connotation like somebody is trying to pull something. End of career raises we're negotiated into contracts ( look up contract; it's a promise) in return for accepted lower pay and benefits. It was a way to help build and develop career teachers. But as we all know, nothing is forever. I suggested these end of career raises be phased out so that those depending on the promise have time to plan. After all, it wasn't the teachers that chose to borrow from the state's pension fund. Whatever we do, we should press the state to make good. Lane increases are also a contractual promise. Many teachers have made significant financial investments/ commitments to professional development having been promised lane changes. Like end of career raises, you can't just flip the switch. I still believe my suggestion, combined with many of yours, could make a huge dent...if not fill...the gap.
tim spencer January 06, 2013 at 08:46 PM
We need to look at healthy ways to cut spending
tim spencer January 06, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Why are people teacher bashing? The teachers have been great, mostly underpaid compared apples to apples with private ind, and don't stop working when the bell rings. They have to prepare, plan, and grade well after hours. And they have to put up with many dysfunctional kids...

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