UPDATED: Some Give but No Takers in District 46 Bargaining

While the Woodland District 50 School Board and teachers' union reached a tentative agreement in their Wednesday negotiations, a teacher strike still looms in District 46.

Editor's Note: This story was updated to reflect the following corrections: The board proposes to give teachers who are not retiring a $1,000 stipend related to salary in year two, and the union is in agreement with the board to freeze extracurricular and supervisory stipends at their current amounts for the next two school years.

Some progress was made at the last bargaining session between the District 46 School Board and teachers' union on Wednesday, but a contract agreement has yet to be reached.

Therefore, the union's Jan. 16 strike date still stands.

No future negotiating sessions have been scheduled, said Jim Pergander, business agent for the Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504, but it's likely the federal mediator will attempt to get both sides back to the table after the holidays.

"We are still willing to meet," Pergander told Patch.

The school board has made its final offer, which was presented to the union at the Nov. 28 negotiating session and has been posted on the District 46 Website.

Both sides have made some concessions, but not enough to clinch a deal.

In its final offer, the school board agrees to extend teachers a two-year contract instead of one year.

The school board attached the following statement to its final offer:

"The Board of Education worked hard to propose a contract that would be fair and beneficial to all constituents without negatively affecting the budget or taxpayers. The Board feels that this proposal shows gratitude and appreciation to the hard work of the teachers while being mindful of the financial constraints that the district is facing."

Flex benefits

The board also agrees to maintain the flex benefit payment of $6,292 for the 138 teachers receiving it. In its previous offer, the board wanted to cut that benefit in half, but give teachers who weren't retiring a $1,300 bonus. This proposal is now off the table.


Regarding retirement, the school board initially proposed to reduce the retirement option of receiving up to four years of 6 percent increases to three years of 5 percent increases.

The board's final offer would maintain a 6 percent increase for teachers who've already submitted their retirement notice.

However, teachers submitting their retirement by March 1, 2013, would receive four years at 5.75 percent. Teachers who submit their retirements after that date would receive 3 percent for three years.

Salary freeze

The board holds firm on instituting a salary freeze with no step or lane changes (related to continued education).

The union initially proposed a 3 percent salary increase for both contract years, which would have cost the district more than $1 million.

In their latest offer, said Pergander, teachers agree to remain working at their current 2011-12 salary schedule for next school year.

The board would agree to give all certified staff who have not submitted a notice to retire a $1,000 stipend in year two.

Teachers would also agree to delay the step increase they were due last September to Sept. 2013, and delay the Sept. 2013 step increase to March 2014.

Pergander said the union "guestimates" this new proposal would cost the district "a little more than half" of what the 3 percent raises would have cost over two school years.

The union is aware of the district's "money crunch problem," said Pergander. "We're trying to meet their needs."

Lane changes and extra duty stipends

While the school board wants no lane changes (related to professional development), Pergander said the union wants lane change compensation made in Feb. 2013, though teachers are not seeking retroactive compensation.

The board still wants all extracurricular and supervisory stipends frozen at the current amount for the next two school years. Pergander said the union is agreeable to this.

HM November 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Pergander's comments are absolutely priceless! "Pergander said the union "guestimates" this new proposal would cost the district "a little more than half" of what the 3 percent raises would have cost over two school years" - UMMMM...the district is facing a huge deificit - so half of a million dollars is still not feasible! "The union is aware of the district's "money crunch problem," said Pergander. "We're trying to meet their needs." - How exactly is demaning more from a deficit budget working toward meeting their needs? The union needs to remember that THERE IS NO MONEY - that is the only need they should be considering right now. This is my favorite - "... but give teachers who weren't retiring a $1,300 bonus." Thankfully this is off the table, but apparently in the world of teachers, bonuses are given/considered by simple virtue of the fact that they are not retiring. WOW is all I can say - is there any performance based incentive for these employees? So when the union fails to concede, I will be interested to hear all the comments about how terrible it is that the district has to layoff teachers. This is the problem with the unions. They will push their demands to attain unrealistic goals for all, at the expense of their own rank and file. The reality is the deficit this district is facing, and if the union won't concede anything, the teachers and the students will lose. Nicley played.
Pete Gardner November 30, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Good morning Grayslake. Let me be the first to applaud the board members of District 46 for presentating a fair offer. I have grown disgusted by your decisions and lack of integrity, but your offer is a step in the direction of alleviating some of this. As someone who retired long ago but lives on a fixed income, your offer shows consideration for all parties. I commend you. You have my full support!
Jose Cuervo November 30, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Looks good to me! Terri, you've been preaching about how the last offer made by the board was an attempt to polarize the staff. You also made it clear if that object was removed this would all come to an end. Well, that object is removed according to this article. We should all expect a quick end to this right?
kathleen November 30, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I completely support our teachers. We have some of the best and brightest, and they work very hard. I want them compensated for that. I just don't understand the issues, so forgive me if I am off-base here. Why would anyone receive a bonus just for showing up to work the following year? Even in good times, employees in the private sector typically receive no more than a 3% raise, and that's with a good annual review of their performance. There are no pensions with increases in the private sector, anymore. Employees pay into their 401(k)'s. I would like to see the treachers treated the same as everyone else. (Same goes for all govt employees.) I moved to Grayslake seven years ago, and my taxes have almost doubled. I don't know if I can afford to stay in Grayslake if this keeps up. If others, like me, are forced to leave the village, schools will close, and many teachers will be laid off. This does not bode well for anybody. The teachers should have a fair contract, with a competitive salary, share the cost of insurance, invest in their own 401(k)'s, receive an annual review to determine their increase to be competitive with those in private industry, and so on.
Terri November 30, 2012 at 04:04 PM
I believe this is a pretty good, fair offer...might need a few tweaks, but I'd guess it's ratifiable (is that a word?). The board pretty quickly realized how polarizing the flex issue was...I bet an apology might go a long way in getting this done. I would suggest they both look at a medium term phase out of the end-of-career raises instead of the short term slash and burn. Like they did with lane changing. I bet this is a lot closer to getting done than the article insinuates. Someone should pull up my old post regarding ideas to settle this; it's almost a blueprint for the direction they're taking.
Terri November 30, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Angela... Thanks for the proper district reference :) Please note that the flex benefit is $6,292, not $6,929.
Terri November 30, 2012 at 04:12 PM
That's a pretty reasonable expectation! My only issue would be with pension. It is certainly a problem that needs a solution, but that rests with the state; the district can do little about it with the exception of the end-of-career raises. I have continually supported phasing them out medium term in an effort to keep the community's promise to those that have invested in it.
Angela Sykora (Editor) November 30, 2012 at 05:38 PM
You're welcome, and the correction has been made along with a couple others.
Dan Golden December 09, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I find it reprehensible that the parents of the students in Grayslake find the teachers to be the guilty parties in the negotiations. That they make to much money for only 9 months of work. Really..Understand the fact that those earnings most likely have to last 12 months. One of the most important things you as parents need to comprehend is this: how many hours of they day are you with your kids and how many hours are these teachers with your kids? The teachers are much more a part of your kids lives during the week than you are. Yes, your sometimes badly behaving, sometimes disrespectful kids which the teachers have to deal with. Personally, I think you would understand the issues teachers have to deal with in regards to your kids. Another thing to realize is your property taxes are high because of the lack of commercial or industrial revenue generated within your area. Instead of trying to squeeze the financial stability out of the teachers maybe you should get your local government to try to generate revenue to help reduce your property tax base. Look at Gurnee, etc. they have tax revenue generated from multiple commercial and industrial streams. Another thing to consider is the actual annual income for some of the newer teachers. Just remember that many of you are making more than a lot of these teachers even without you not having a college education. ( I will continue in another post)
Dan Golden December 09, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Continuing: many of the teachers are taking their own money to pay for class items that that are needed but not paid for by the school district. This is their own money. How many times have your kids come home with specific items from school like pencils, crayons, etc. that you have not supplied. Guess what, most likely the teacher provided that stuff, not he school. All I am saying is do not blame only the teachers for what you believe is their fault as to where things are at. As workers I am sure you want an occasional raise or other benefit upgrades. Teachers are no different. Let me ask you to post your income here so everyone can see what you make annually. Teachers salaries are common knowledge. Let everyone know that you are complaining about what a teacher makes in comparison to you but they are the ones responsible for our kids approximately 8 hours per day. Just think about the big picture.
Justin Fact December 15, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Conversation from another comment section reposted. Money Facts- It just doesn’t add up. According the the Dec. PMA presentation given at the Board meeting, the overall budget for this year shows that District 46 has no money and needs to go into deficit spending. The exact numbers were not really explained. I did find a footnote on the bottom of slide 16 a little interesting. It states, “Additional Note: Previous projections excluded certain fund balances that were considered restricted. Per the district no current operating fund balances included in the projections are restricted and are available for current expenditures.” This statement leads one to believe that the board has money that is not considered “current operating funds”. As such, then these funds would be restricted and not part of the PMA financial report. Doesn’t the board pay PMA to report on such matters as they see fit? I will have to dig a little more on the ISBE website to find out more about the budget filed there compared to what the board says they have. ...
Justin Fact December 15, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Continuation... ... the following info which can be found in the districts budget that was filed with the state in which you can FOIA. Apparently there is $26,151,135 in a "cash on hand" fund that is money that is carried over from year to year. I guess kind of a rainy day fund so to speak. I spoke to some individuals that follow educational finance and they mentioned that the state recommends a 20% fund balance for districts to have from year to year just in case the state doesn't pay their bills. The district budget states that there is $70,396,922 Total amount available. (Again you can FOIA to verify the numbers) That leads to approximately a 37% fund balance. So it appears the board is not spending money and holding on to it for economic hard times. Glad that is not happening anywhere. When was the last Ed Fund referendum anyway? I can't remember one and I have been here for 13 years. I know the district has built 2 or 3 buildings in that time, but I only remember referendums to build the buildings passing. (I am also hearing of an additional 2.7 million, but can not verify.) So where is the deficit?
Justin Fact December 15, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Information found from the Illinois Report Card section found on the ISBE website. 2012 Teacher Average Salary and Years Statistics: Grayslake 46 $57,358 and 10.4 years Woodland 50 $60,505 and 13 years Antioch $55,917 and 11.4 years Wauconda 118 $71,722 and 12.1 years Gurnee 56 $62,762 and 13.8 years I post this information to give an apple to apple comparison. All of these districts have more average years for their teachers. So the question of why doesn't D46 have more average years comes to mind. Could it be that over the last 7 or 8 years there has been a group of individuals that have been able to place 3 or 4 people on the board that only have a fiscal concern? I think so. While some of the decisions they have made have been fiscally responsible, I think they have been educationally crippling. They have time and time again cut in areas that the public does not notice in order to maintain fiscal goals that they do not make public. What is their long term financial plan? When asked that question at the town hall meeting they answered we don't know that. That is a little troubling. Better question would be how are you helping the educational process of this district? I am sure the answer would be the same. No idea. The one thing that you have not cut is the very resource that you are pushing to strike. High teacher turn over strains staff development and continuity. It does however, keep the bottom line low.
Justin Fact December 15, 2012 at 01:16 AM
The parents of D46 deserve a board that cares and focuses on education and is fiscally responsible, not a board that micromanages and plays shell games with finances and has no clue how the educational side of a school district works. The community, me included, have failed because we have allowed this to perpetuate for 8 years. Enough is enough. Really, where else can some who has 2 last names and 2 homes become a board member with only 8 write-in votes.


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