For years Huntley teachers have wanted guaranteed maximum raises if they decide to plan on taking early retirement or retirement that is officially planned years ahead of time.
Their union was asking for a guaranteed 6% increase for each of the last four years before retirement.
This sounds like a small amount of money until one thinks through the financial implications.
If you are have to pay an extra 3% in salary to teachers who are already in a top pay category, then based on say $80,000 a year in salary and stipends, this amounts to an extra $2,400.
The money adds up because it is for four years of teachers, for each teacher. Four years of teachers is easily much more than ten percent of your total teachers seeing how a low percentage of teachers are retiring with forty years of teaching experience.
If you have 600 teachers (Huntley has well over 600 certified staff) four years of teachers can run more than 70 teachers when you have a not too young or not too old workforce.
That $2,400 example of more direct pay per year compounds higher each year. It also encourages early retirement, which costs districts more money in early retirement TRS pension costs they must pay to the state. Finally, it encourages a district’s most experienced teachers to retire sooner.
What seemingly can be made to look like thousands of dollars can end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional costs each year. Such costs, of course, take away from other educational resources, which could be used to help student learning.
Unless you believe there is a limitless pool of money.
In Cary District 26, the extra money given away to teachers upon retiring is remarkable.
In District 26’s contract its teachers get a lump sum, additional payment of $20,000 when they retire early. When this makes fiscal sense in a school board, one shouldn’t be surprised if such a district is broke or likely headed in that direction.
Huntley can’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars being sucked into something that doesn’t help one child learn anything.
No one in the private sector gets guaranteed higher raises for four years before retirement.
The Huntley School Board decided not to lay off any teachers this year.
In return, the Huntley teachers expressed their gratitude with a “we want more money under the current contract” request.
It doesn’t have to make sense in the real world. You’re in school world.
Huntley has one of the largest step increase–3 ½%–in any teachers contract in the state.
If you know of one that’s higher for a surrounding district, please let me know.
What’s a step increase?
A step increase is an automatic pay hike because a teacher has been on the payroll an additional year.
“Greed is good,” was a line from the movie “Wall Street” spoken by actor Michael Douglas.
An excellent deal granting raises over a three-period of 5% per year, stable employment and excellent working conditions apparently aren’t good enough for Huntley teachers.
When greed sucks money away from educational resources that can help students learn, it doesn’t look like it’s good public policy.
Of course, if no one knows about it, the participants can get away with it with impunity.
Springfield is never going to take away teachers union’s right to strike in Illinois when Democrats can block commons sense reforms by being in control.
Maybe Republican John O’Neill will point out Democrat Jack Franks’ automatic pro-union vote whenever the teachers unions need one.
Somehow this is consistent with Franks’ saying he is a conservative.
One may think there’s nothing conservative about supporting the teachers unions’ right to strike in Illinois, when the state is teetering on bankruptcy.
It may also defy common sense.
O’Neill is a member of the District 15 school board and may understand the implications.
Massachusetts is an equal to Illinois (at least) in liberalism, and also unionism.
It has a better public education system and doesn’t allow its teachers to strike.