Kaneland Teachers and Administration Follow Huntley’s Example

When I read this Kane County Chronicle article by Brenda Schory and James Fuller’s Daily Herald article about the Kaneland Unit District 302 teachers giving a 10-day notice to strike by a vote of 267-11, I did some checking. (Both articles have vibrant comments beneath.)

Sure enough, the Huntley teachers who were behind the Huntley teachers’ strike are advising the Kaneland teachers to strike.

But looking more closely, I can tell that the school board is following at least part of the Huntley School District 158 Board of Education’s example.

Kaneland has put the contract offers and counteroffers on its web site.

I like the presentation of Kaneland’s information better than Huntley’s.

Kaneland has a column for the union’s demands and one for the school board’s offers.

My only quarrel is with the administration’s presentation of the total increase in teacher salaries. It appears that the district has not compounded the numbers. Under the September 29th counteroffer, for instance, the school district just adds up each of the three year’s numbers and comes to a 15.8% total offer from the district and against a 17.4% request from the teachers.

If the numbers are compounded, it looks to me like the teachers are being offered 16.6%, while the teachers want 18.4%. Maybe I’m not remembering my high school math, but, in any event, compounding the numbers gives a more realistic idea of what’s going on and it is most certainly higher than what is shown on the Kaneland web site.

Also on the web site is a comparison of salaries in neighboring districts, some of which you can see here. (Burlington Central wouldn’t fit. Click to enlarge any image.)

Notice that there are columns for how much a teacher earns each day. The offer is $180 a day for a beginning teacher, $220 for someone with a master’s degree, highest step master’s $457 per day.

If you look at the comparison, Kaneland’s offer is within $1 a day of much wealthier St. Charles for starting teachers and actually $11.50 a day more for the top of the scale person with a master’s degree.

What has to be laughable, however, is the Huntley teachers’ advice:

“Go on strike and you will get everything you ask for. We did.”

The truth be known, the Huntley Co-Presidents are stalling and/or refusing to sign the contract their membership ratified, precisely because they didn’t get what they wanted.

And now Huntley’s union leaders are playing a game of

“Please, please, please, let’s open up negotiations.”

Kaneland teachers consider this:

On August 21st, the Huntley teachers union made an official proposal for a 3-year contract that had an average pay hike of 7.4% per year. They went on strike on September 15th, without changing their official proposal.

This must have sounded good to the average rank and file teacher. Oh goody! Let’s hold out for 7%, many of them thought.

Reality was:

On the second evening of the strike the union leaders caved, making an official proposal in the 5.5% pay raise range. They didn’t get that. And had to give back plenty to the Board of Education along with new concessions the Board insisted on.

This reality explains Julie Hunter’s (union co-president’s) hemming and hawing about signing the contract.

This Wonder Lake resident and elementary teacher has a hard time explaining why she agreed to a new $10 per month payment for medical and a $10 per month payment for dental insurance for many of the single teachers.

Many of the single teachers they had 100% free medical and dental insurance. Not so now after union leaders agreed to the monthly contributions. It’s now an extra $240 per year.

It’s not hard to imagine what chief negotiator and board member Larry Snow was thinking when he got this new concession signed off on as part of a tentative agreement.

That provision for helping pay for medical insurance is probably what’s in final contract Hunter doesn’t want to sign.

But Hunter’s signature is already on the tentative agreement.

Do you think this is something the Huntley union leaders are bragging about to the Kaneland teachers?

If the Kaneland teachers heard the Huntley union leaders whine about their new contract, they might have the common sense to say:

“Thanks for the advice, but no thanks.”

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Both pictures of picketers are of Huntley School District 158 teachers on Red Barn Road the first day of their strike.

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