District 300 Contract Still Hidden Almost 7 Weeks after Passage

I was disappointed, but not surprised, when District 300 did not reveal the details of its teachers’ contract prior to its early June public vote.

The 2008 Huntley School Board allowed taxpayers to read the document before it was approved.

I figured the teachers’ contract approved at an official open meeting of the District 300 Board of Education would be posted immediately after the meeting. It wasn’t.

Details
were released, but not the document that was voted upon.

Just a summary.

I had been told that District 300’s teacher contract would be made available by July 15th.

When that date came and went, I emailed asking where the contract was.

Communications Director Allison Strupeck replied yesterday,

“We had anticipated the document would be completed by mid-July.

“There are numerous parties involved in finalizing all of the wording and details.

“We have a legal obligation to ensure that all parties have been able to thoroughly vet the document before it is finalized and published.

“A very conservative estimate of the remaining steps in this process would be another couple of months.”

Undoubtedly those who are teachers in this school board budget meeting audience from 2006 know what is being changed in the contract after agreement was reportedly reached.

The taxpayers in this shot of the interested public and District 300 employees are being kept in the dark about the details in the teachers' contract approved the first week of June.

Taxpayers do not.


Comments

District 300 Contract Still Hidden Almost 7 Weeks after Passage — 10 Comments

  1. I’m not surprised it isn’t out. I expected this. Some might think of it as a game.

    They could easily show what’s final wording and put up a draft disclaimer on the rest.

    The public should be furious.

  2. FDA – If they posted an incomplete document, you would be first in line with accusations that they are playing games by hiding critical details or some other nonsense.

  3. - “There are numerous parties involved in finalizing all of the wording and details.

    “We have a legal obligation to ensure that all parties have been able to thoroughly vet the document before it is finalized and published.” –

    Did the Board approve an agreement that all the required parties did not sign?

    I would think the public should be legally entitled to see whatever contract the Board approved, as the contract read at the time of the approval vote.

    If the parties (Board/Administration and Union) then want to change the agreement, they could do so and the Board could take another vote whether or not to approve the changes.

    I would see what the law says regarding this. Maybe a current or former Board member in another district not married to the unions could shed some light on this, such as a Larry Snow or Chris Jenner. Or maybe the Illinois Association of School Boards, State Rep, or State Senator.

  4. ML – be fair and read what I wrote don’t post what you want people to think I said.

    Drafts exist just as wording exists to indicate the wording is still under review, etc.

  5. FDA – I have no objection to your comment. However, I don’t believe that you would be less critical if they did what you suggested. That is just my perception based on reading your posts here and elsewhere.

  6. Gee ML – going on past experience with Teachers Unions, Teachers, Administrators, various school districts’ news – why would I have reason to think that they would lie, hide info, take advantage of Taxpayers, etc., etc. ?

    Oh right because it’s happened before………. Hey, now we have the glorious tale of the Teachers and Administrators in Atlanta and the test cheating and their direct involvement? Hey, way to go Education Industry – the folks who actually are straight up are getting a bad name from all the head games, etc.

    In this thread topic, I simply gave an option – show it all and designate what’s holding things up or where there are wording issues. I mean it would give the public all the rest to read and digest NOW before school starts and get the details so they could read the outstanding issues later.

    Heck, it might even allow people to make some comparisons – like the pending issues in Cary.

    And, yes, it DOES seem like things are being hidden and delayed when they don’t have to be. Unfortunately, this seems to be standard operating procedure in this industry.

  7. Hmmm…that’s right no cheating or dishonesty has ocurred on a massive scale anywhere else or in any other highly trusted profession like say accounting…Hey wait didn’t there used to be a firm called Arthur Andersen?

    Anytime there is a reason to cheat, there is a way to cheat and some jerk(s) will find a way. This is how controls and validation processes evolve. Some fool or group of fools finds a way around or as in this case right through the rules. Improvements are made. Repeat.

    Every year hundreds of unethical CPAs and other tax preparers get busted for cheating. Since the IRS implemented its new registration rules Jan 1 this year, 712,000 registered. 100,000 didn’t register but kept doing their thing anyway. From what I can find there are about 4 million or so teachers in the US. Atlanta is about a couple hundred.

    I don’t attribute perfection to that profession any more than my own, but relating the unresolved details of a contract to a cheating scandal a thousand miles away is like sounding the fraud alarm if my financial statements take longer than they “should”. I am all for accountability, but a little perspective please. I might save furious for something a little bigger than slow contract details, but not quite the Atlanta thing. That obviously warrants more than fury.

  8. Today I found the following on the District 300 website. It’s not the teachers contract (Collective Bargaining Agreement), but rather the “May 26, 2011 Negotiations Session Terms Sheet.”

    http://www.d300.org/files/BOARD%20-%20LEAD%20AGREED%20TERMS%20JUNE%201%202011.pdf

    Since District has changed it’s website in the last few months, the path is http://www.d300.org, then Staff, then Human Resources, then Contracts, then LEAD Agreement.

    After “LEAD Agreement” the following appears: “The Board of Education voted to approve the terms in this compiled document on June 1, 2011, after these terms were ratified by LEAD 300 (association of teachers and other certified staff) covering the period from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. When these terms have been incorporated into an updated contract, the contract will be posted to this webpage.”

    Today is September 10th. June 1st was three months and nine days ago. It takes over three months to incorporate the terms into an updated contract?

    Here’s the background.

    Community Unit School District 300 includes parts of Algonquin, Carpentersville, Gilberts, Hampshire, Lake in the Hills, Sleepy Hollow, and West Dundee in the counties of Kane, McHenry, & Cook.

    The teachers union for District 300 is named Local Education Association of District 300 (LEAD300) and included about 1256 teachers as of .

    The District 300 Board of Directors unanimously approved the Collective Bargaining Agreement on Wednesday June 1, 2011 at Westfield Community School, 2100 Sleepy Hollow Road, Algonquin.

    LEAD300 ratified the tentative agreement on Tuesday May 31, 2011.

  9. According to a FOIA request posted on the District 300 website, “…the Administration and Board have completed their part in finalizing the LEAD contract…”

    “The contract has been given to LEAD officers to finalize the process. When LEAD officers have been able to do so, we will post the contract to the LEAD website.”

    Here’s the path to the FOIA request: http://www.d300.org, then About Us, then Freedom of Information Act, then Online Responses, then
    “673 09/01/2011 LEAD and Administrators 2011-12 Contracts.”

    http://d300.org/files/673%20-%20LEAD%20and%20Administrators%202011-12%20Contracts%28online%29.pdf

  10. Still no collective bargaining agreement posted on the CUSD 300 website.

    Let’s review.

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 – In a joint press release, the Board of Education of Community Unit School District 300 (CUSD 300) and the Local Education Association of District 300 (LEAD 300) reached a tentative agreement resolving economic and language issues.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011 – LEAD 300 members ratified (approved) the terms.

    Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011 – The Board of Education voted to approve the terms for the period from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. When these terms have been incorporated into an updated contract, the contract will be posted to this webpage.

    Friday, September 2, 2011 – Responding to a FOIA request, District 300 states in a letter, “As stated in these voice mails, the Administration and Board have completed their part in finalizing the LEAD contract; LEAD includes teachers and other certified staff. The contract has been given to LEAD officers to finalize the process. When LEAD officers have been able to do so, we will post the contract to the D300 website.”

    Why is it taking so long for the LEAD officers to finalize the process?

    Notes:

    LEAD 300 is the local teachers union affiliated with the state IEA union and national NEA union – teachers pay union dues to all three unions.

    May 26th, 2011 District 300 Board/LEAD 300 joint press release
    http://www.d300.org/files/PR%20-%20Tentative%20agreement%20with%20LEAD.pdf

    June 1, 2011 District 300 news release
    http://www.d300.org/news/26030

    September 2, 2011 FOIA Response
    http://d300.org/files/673%20-%20LEAD%20and%20Administrators%202011-12%20Contracts%28online%29.pdf

    The June 1, 2011 District 300 news release states, “A salary freeze for the year.” THAT IS NOT TRUE. Teachers can earn a salary increase by completing a college class, or by earning additional degrees. This is called a “Lane” increase. What was frozen was the base salary schedule and years of service (step) increases. IT IS A PARTIAL SALARY FREEZE.

    Who are the people responsible for misleading taxpayers about the partial salary freeze in the June 1, 2011 District 200 news release. It’s a joint effort. The CUSD 300 Board, Superintendent, and Administration; and the LEAD 300 teachers union; all spread this myth.

    Superintendent Mr. Michael T. Bregy, Ed.S.
    Board Vice President Chris Stanton
    Board President Anne Miller
    Board Secretary Karen Roeckner
    Board Member Joe Stevens
    Board Member Susie Kopacz
    Board Member Dave Alessio
    Board Member Steve Fiorentino

    If you don’t like being misled, give them a call or email and tell them what you think.
    (847) 426-1300
    http://www.d300.org/board-/-superintendent/board-education
    http://www.d300.org/board-/-superintendent/superintendents-page

    Of course they will try to talk their way out of it. Bottom line if the district is claiming a salary freeze, there should not be a way to increase salary. The district is claiming a salary freeze when in fact it is simply a reduction in the number of ways that salary can be increased.

    Other school districts are playing the same game, claiming a salary freeze in a press release, when in fact salaries can be increased through achieving college credits or degrees, a practice known as “lane increases”. In many districts, teachers were able to receive TWO lane increases per year, meaning there were two dates per year by which they could submit their paperwork to receive a salary increase, but in many districts that has been reduceed to ONE lane increase per year, in other districts lane increases were frozen.

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