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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 25, 2012 at 06:21 PM
@Terri: Your statement IS wrong. Because that money would be re-distributed for a one-year period, as a one-time pay adjustment, and then be removed entirely. That's why it's called a bonus. Because it is issued one time, and will no longer be in the budget in future years, even if not indicated in the proposal. So long-term, you ARE wrong. I know what I am talking about here because I have direct sources who have provided me with these facts and information.
Terri October 25, 2012 at 06:33 PM
My statement is not wrong. The proposal is revenue/savings neutral for the term of the proposed contract. Are you and the district so naive as to think 200 teachers can be polarized and bought out for 40 pieces of silver...make that a one-time, taxable $1,300?
Lennie Jarratt October 25, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Exactly @Tim.
Lennie Jarratt October 25, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I think most teachers would like to have a job than get RIFed becuase the district can't afford to keep as many teachers. This will cause class sizes to rise as well. I'd rather keep more teachers working and allow the board to have a discussion as to if they can hire more teachers to lower class sizes.
Tim Froehlig October 25, 2012 at 06:45 PM
@Terri: I'm not going to explain this to you again. Either you get what I am explaining or you don't. It is a ONE-TIME BONUS of $1,300. Yes, it is revenue neutral for the one year. HOWEVER (you might want to re-read this coming part so you get it), AFTER the one year, because it is a ONE-TIME bonus that is re-distributed, it wil not be re-issued again. It will be removed from the expenditures in the budget completely after the one year. Even if you disagree with it happening, AFTER the one year, the $1,300 bonus that's re-distrubuted will no longer be issued. So $1,300 times how ever many people it had been given to for the one year will be how much money the district saves in the future, because even if you don't see it here, that amount will not be re-issued after that one year. Ask the board if you doubt me. It's part of their longer-term plan, or at least some of the board members currently. So while the proposal is revenue neutral for one year, it will save D46 money in the future, even if it upsets some folks.
Lennie Jarratt October 25, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Karen Weinert and Sue Facklam met with you Mr. Jarratt? Yes They are familiar with your proposal? Yes Has your proposal been discussed at a board meeting or presented at a board meeting? No, I offered to present it to the entire board. I will be emailing it to the entire board as soon as I can get the entire 3 years put in a form that they can understand without me explaining it. It didn't appear they wanted me to present it to the board. I'd be happy to make that public when I send it ti them. It should be done soon. With the election coming up, work has kept me very busy. I'd be happy to setup a townhall meeting for everyone to come ask questions themselves. I'd invite the board and the union as well. An open and honest discussion it the best solution to protect the future of our children.
getitstraight October 25, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Recommended Fund balance to revenue ratio per ISBE http://www.isbe.state.il.us/sfms/afr/profile.pdf
Terri October 25, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Tim Put as much lipstick on the pig as you like. THERE IS NO COST SAVING FOR THE PROPOSED CONTRACT ( I used caps to be like you). So, the whole idea could go away in subsequent contracts. Mr. Jarratt You don't give teachers the credit they're due if you think they'll ratify a contract with this provision in it. For one year, it's less than half a cheap cup of coffee at Micky D's on the way to work. There are plenty of good ways to save the same money a year from now. I bet there's a dozen in Mr. Jarratt's proposal. To think for one minute that the flex issue isn't or wasn't meant to be polarizing is, well, sorry...naive. And Tim. If you are indicating that you have inside information from sources you won't name, isn't that just as bad as what you accused Mr. Surroz of in another thread?
Tim Froehlig October 25, 2012 at 07:38 PM
@Terri: I never once have said there is cost savings for the one-year contract. I have and will continue to claim it will save the district money by no longer being there after one year. So I'm not sure what you are even arguing about. Furthermore, what I accused Mr. Surroz of is completely different than what I am talking about. People who are openly discussing information with me as a D46 resident that has already been discussed openly at board meetings is 100 percent legal. If additional board members had elaborated on what Mr. Surroz chose to discuss on this board on the board's behalf, it would've been a violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. So for you to get angry with me because I pointed out information that goes beyond your simple one-year view of things is unfortunate. What is even more unfortunate is you come quite close to accusing me of something that is 100 percent wrong and are attempting to provoke conflict that does not exist. Shame on you. I put my name next to every one of my posts because I am honest and forthcoming. For you to suggest otherwise is dispicable.
Tim Froehlig October 25, 2012 at 07:46 PM
And with all due respect, again, you have no right to accuse me of having "inside sources." Especially when I am basing my thoughts on the fact that it's been openly discussed in the past that this would be a one-time bonus. If it's a bonus, and it's one time, the pure definition of those words mean it's temporary and will not be around long. I doubt I will get it, but quite frankly, you should apologize to me for incinuating I have broken or violated any rules regarding this matter, which you clearly did above. You have no right do do so.
Tim Froehlig October 25, 2012 at 07:51 PM
The district is still below the state's recommendation for this no matter what number you use...$38 or $48.5 million, so my points are still 100 percent valid.
Tim Froehlig October 25, 2012 at 08:00 PM
My entire point was you keep trying to espouse this notion, repeatedly, that the district will not save any money with this proposal. While that may be true for one year, they will save money after that year because it is a one-time bonus. Not a two-time bonus. Not a 10-time bonus. One time. Congrats on your victory on the technicality that it won't save the district money over the term of a one-year contract. But it's obvious to me and anyone else with common sense that it will save the district money in the long-term when it no longer exists. Why you are so persistently focusing on just the one year when even the union's proposal is multiple years, is beyond me. I'm looking at the whole picture. The board, despite their much-publicized troubles, is even banding together and looking beyond the one year. You should as well. I'm not sure where you stand on things. On one hand, you claim repeatedly that the board's offer is unfair, yet continually scream to anyone that will listen that the board's proposal for flex pay is revenue neutral. After the one year, it will ultimately save the district money because it is a bonus that will no longer exist. So on one hand, you are complaining that their proposal won't save the district money, yet complain on here also that the teachers aren't getting a fair contract. So which is it? Do you want to see the board save the district money, or not? I can't even tell anymore.
getitstraight October 25, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I said that in my first post. I just thought if you want to talk about facts we should use facts.
Pete Gardner October 25, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Terri your statement that there is no savings in the proposed contract while correct on the surface is not what the argument seems to be about.There is no savings in the proposed contract. I asked if the boards intention was to rid itself of the expense of $6292. Maybe they intend to rid the distirct of half the expense. I don't know but I do understand that after the proposed contract is done and 50% remains gone in subsuquent contracts then that is a future savings to the district. HM I agree with you on every item you suggest reducing and keeping salaries the same until the economy can sustain them. What about the $1300? Should that go and just reduce the flex payment or leave the flex payment at $6292? If healthcare is bid out and that expense is reduced could that be worked into the contract to reduce the flex benefit payment to equal the new reduced healthcare cost to those taking the $6292? In other words if healthcare is $4200 could the flexpayment be reduced to $4200?
Terri October 25, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Pete Some good ideas in there...hope the negotiators are reading. Tim Sorry. But if you're discussing the details of negotiations with board members or direct sources, that is wrong. But I am sorry. I realize that was loaded & inappropriate as an accusation. I will not apologize for my statement regarding naïveté. The flex issue is divisive and polarizing. If the negotiators didn't see that when they proposed it, well...if the shoe fits...
Pete Gardner October 25, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Thank you Terri. I am very concerned about the community as a whole. I understand your point and the point of most who express it here. I also can see why Tim Froehlig would be upset that you chose to comment on inside information when you also seem to know the ins and outs of every detail. You told Tim if he is speaking with any direct sources it is wrong. Can I remind you that you've commented many times on what the union would and would not accept. I will not pretend to believe you aren't a current staff member. Does that mean its wrong for you to be here? I don't know. I appreciate your perspective. Fair does not mean cost and in this case I hope you realize your own point.
Terri October 25, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Thank, Pete. I have made no references to anything that is not public record or made any references to inside information or sources. I am not staff, board or union. I do have an excellent grasp of negotiating arts. Any reference to what I think might fly in a negotiation are my opinions. Fair does not have to cost. I believed it when I posted it and support it now.
Pete Gardner October 25, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Terri you are making an old man work today! I've enjoyed having good conversations with you. I will continue to believe you are involved though; I appreciate your knowledge and input and hope that this can all be decided quickly.
Bill Winkowski October 26, 2012 at 12:38 AM
HM I could have not said it any better!
Terri October 26, 2012 at 12:29 PM
3 year contract Freeze steps in the salary schedule year one Freeze lane movement in salary schedule year 2 Increase steps schedule to CPI year 3 Open lanes and increase by 1/2 CPI year 3 Work a 3 year plan to improve health care through competitive bids, add participant co-pay while reducing flex benefit to the 138 Work a 10 year plan to eliminate the end-of-career raises while applying part of the savings to improve salary on the front end I know many like to think of the end-of-career raises as pension padding. It is not. It is a promise made to teachers throughout their careers in return for concessions in prior negotiations. This plan gives those we'll break our promise to time to plan, establish 403b's, save, etc. does the federal government say, "lets just cut Social Security tomorrow...we don't have the money."? These are just some top-of-the-head ideas, that combined with some of HM's ideas, could make a difference, be fair, and keep the promises we've made for past concessions. I'd like to see someone monetize this objectively.
C-Dub October 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Another interesting article http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20121026/news/710269917/
Nightcrawler October 26, 2012 at 01:08 PM
The Sun-Times is better. http://www.suntimes.com/15966816-761/lake-county-candidate-has-other-name-and-arrests-in-his-past.html
Terri October 26, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Back to topic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxsOVK4syxU
George October 26, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Not to mention the occasional FEC violation and fine...see pages 3 and 14 http://eqs.nictusa.com/eqsdocsAF/11092671017.pdf
Tim Froehlig October 26, 2012 at 02:45 PM
As I have stated before, there are several people on this board that need to step down. Just as I have asked Sue Facklam and Mary Garcia to step down previously, I will ask Michael Carbone to step down, and do what is in the best interest of this district. Do the right thing. This isn't about politics. This is about moving forward for the best interests of the kids. If you have a past, fine. Don't drag these kids and the district through this mud with you. And I stand by my request for Facklam and Carbone to both step down.
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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