District 300 Explains What’s Up with Teacher Negotiations

District 300 explains where things stand in its negotiations with its teachers’ union:

As a means of keeping Community Unit School District 300 families and community members informed, we will post information on our website in the form of Questions and Answers. Regular updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Everything is still normal at the Lake in the Hills Grade School.

Q: The teachers union has declared impasse. What does this mean?

A: On Monday, November 5, 2012, the Board of Education learned that the teachers union, Local Education Association of District 300 (LEAD 300), declared impasse. The fact that the teachers union has declared impasse suggests they have concluded that negotiations are deadlocked.

Q: If the teachers decide to strike, when will that happen?

A: The timeline below is our best estimate based on the information currently available and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act requirements. The Board of Education and D300 Administration are committed to working with the teachers union to come to a fair and financially responsible settlement, which may impact the following dates:

1. Monday, November 5, 2012 – LEAD 300 declared impasse

2. Monday, November 12, 2012 – Final offers to be exchanged
Within seven days after the declaration of impasse, both the Board of Education and LEAD 300 must submit their final offers – including a cost summary – to each other, the mediator, and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) 115 ILCS 5/12(a-5)(2).

3. Monday, November 19, 2012 – Final offers to be made public
Seven days after receipt of those final offers, assuming no settlement has been reached, the IELRB will make the final offers public, including the cost summaries, by posting them on its website: http://www2.illinois.gov/elrb/Pages/default.aspx 115 ILCS 5/12(a-5)(2).

4. Monday, December 3, 2012 – First day teachers could engage in a strike
Once final offers are posted on the IELRB website, at least fourteen days must elapse before LEAD 300 may engage in a strike. Please note that it is not a requirement that LEAD 300 actually engage in a strike, only that this is the first day that the union may legally do so. 115 ILCS 5/13(b)(2).

*If LEAD 300 does intend to engage in a strike, its leadership would have to provide the District at least 10 days written notice of its intent to strike. 115 ILCS 5/14(b)(3).


Comments

District 300 Explains What’s Up with Teacher Negotiations — 6 Comments

  1. Ever since Chicago teachers won substantial pay increases in their strike teacher unions have been emboldened in their negotiations.

    Here’s a few things the District 300 press release didn’t tell you.

    The final offers (School Board and Teachers Union) will be on the IELRB website soon after the Board and Teachers Union submits them to the IELRB. Here is the IELRB impasse final offer website.
    www2.illinois.gov/elrb/Pages/FinalOffers.aspx

    Another important note.

    The only reason there are only 11 final offers on the IELRB impasse final offer website is that after about 11 final offers, the 12th oldest is deleted from their website.

    Citizen unfriendly.

    If you are so inclined, send an email to the IELRB contact on the “Contact US” section of their website, telling her your thoughts on that practice and copy your State Rep and State Senator. Eileen.Brennan@illinois.gov.

    How hard is it to archive impasse final offers over and above a quantity of 11 or so on a website? One would think it takes extra effort to delete it from the website.

    A refresher on last years’ CUSD 300 teachers’ negotiations.

    The agreement was ratified (approved) by the teachers on May 31, 2011.

    The agreement was ratified by the school board on June 1, 2011.

    The agreement was posted on the school district website some time between January 13, 2012 and September 12, 2012 (those are two dates I looked for the agreement on the district website).

    June 1, 2011 – January 13, 2012 is a ridiculous amount of time to wait for the lawyers, unions, and board to work out the contract language, that to me sounds like they were still negotiating after the tentative agreement was ratified.

    Furthermore, once posted, the previous years agreement was pulled from the district website.

    Many districts now archive several years of collective bargaining agreements on the district website, rather than making citizens FOIA the document.

    Regarding the changes from one agreement to another, the District should list all the contractual language highlighted so the public that is interested can note the exact changes.

    The Board knows the changes, the teacher union knows, the lawyers know, but not the public footing the bill.

    The summary explanation is also a must have, but most districts summaries are too vague to be very meaningful.

    In addition some school boards are now releasing negotiating updates to the public. Ask the District 300 Board to also release negotiating updates. board@d300.org

    Here’s the current Collective Bargaining Agreement located at District 300 website.
    http://www.d300.org > staff > contracts > LEAD agreement.

    First, LEAD 300 is Local Education Association of District 300, the local teachers union affiliate of the Illinois Education Association (IEA), which is the state teachers union affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA).

    Save the agreement to your hard drive because many districts (not all) if you are so inclined, since District 300 has a history of not archiving the documents on their website.

    It’s an imposing 106 pages.

    If you don’t understand something in the contract, don’t be bashful calling the District and having them explain the area(s) in question, because it’s your property tax dollars, State tax dollars, and Federal tax dollars paying teacher salaries.

    How many property tax dollars?

    Salaries and benefits are about 75% of a school district’s budget, thus about 75% of your school property tax bill is for district salaries and benefits.

    Next think how many of your annual expenditures exceed the school district portion of your property tax bill?

    For many it’s not many.

    Maybe mortgage, car payments, etc.

    School district taxes are often in the top 5 highest bills paid by a homeowner.

    Memorizing the amount on your property tax bill that goes to school districts prompts one to pay closer attention to school district finances.

    You will notice the current collective bargaining agreement expired on June 30, 2012.

    It is very common for teachers contracts to expire, and teachers to continue working while a new agreement is being negotiated.

    Teachers unions point that, “we are working on an expired contract” doesn’t impact their pay.

    Also notice that teachers unions never strike during the summer.

    If the kids were the priority, why not strike in the summer?

    Finally these negotiations are absolutely critical because of the teacher/administrator pension crisis.

    The school district need to save every penny, because Michael Madigan, John Cullerton, and Pat Quinn want to “phase in” the State “on behalf of the school district” portion of teacher/administrator pension payment to the school districts.

    That should be your #1 concern because if it happens it will be a combination of cuts and tax increases over time that you have never seen before.

    It should not happen without first addressing the teacher/administrator pension benefit increases signed into law by Madigan, Cullerton, Quinn, and their predecessors.

    What should happen first is teacher pension benefit decreases, because the teacher pension benefits were increased 38 of 40 years from 1971 -2011 by the Illinois General Assembly.

    That’s the biggest scandal in the history of the State of Illinois, and I’m not kidding.

  2. Dear Mark,
    I am a student in D300. As someone who is directly affected by what you are reading here, it hurts me to see people try to post such negativity. As an involved student leader who meets regularly with several members of the board, the superintendent, and is educated by these teachers, let me straighten out some facts for you.

    First of all, the bit about the final offers being posted on the IELRB website actually is in the D300 press release.

    Second of all, the offers are always posted on the IELRB website for the amount of time mandated by Illinois Senate Bill 7.

    Third, the school board is releasing updates on the negotiations as they see fit in, often, very political settings. Since the two sides (the teacher’s union and the school board) are essentially now head to head, the board is often unwilling to share exactly what they are negotiating, due to what it is they are negotiating. Class sizes are quite a touchy subject around here. Although they shouldn’t be. Class sizes directly affect learning. So as a student of D300, I must ask that they be brought down.

    Fourth, the contract is 106 pages because it’s a legal document. Sorry there’s not much more to that explanation.

    Fifth, of course the largest percent of tax revenue that the school district brings in is spent on teacher’s, and administrators, salaries. They are the ones who are educating us. Exactly the point of the education system. I am having a hard time seeing where you take issue with that fact.

    Sixth, striking does not happen during the summer, because that does not make sense. Think of the NFL lockout. That happened during the season. Not during the offseason. Walking out does not have quite the same effect if it is done when one is not being paid to work.

    Seventh, the teacher’s pension system of Illinois is in good health. It is actually much like Social Security in this country, seeing as teachers in Illinois pay 6.4% of their salary into the TRS, whereas the average American pays 6.2% of the salary into Social Security. Quite comparable systems, when you think about it.

    So please, for the sake of my education, and all the children who are the future of this country, I ask you to value my education. Value the educators providing that for me. Create a culture where education is important. Promote the respect of the teaching profession. Be informed, and help the students and teachers of D300 in their fight to improve education.
    Thank you.

  3. Senate Bill 7 should be revised so the Impasse Final Offers are permanently archived. The offers don’t take up much space. The IELRB archives other postings for seemingly indefinitely.

    Some school districts are now releasing negotiating updates, including daily updates during strikes.

    Not many teacher collective bargaining agreements in Illinois are 106 pages or longer.

    Striking during the school year affects children and parent schedules much more than teacher schedules.

    Striking during the summer affects teacher schedules, not children an parent schedules.

    During a strike, the teachers who show up for a strike, do so in stead of teaching students.

    No real change to teacher hours during a strike, just the teacher schedule.

    No real change to teacher commute during a strike, teachers go to the same building during a strike.

    Most students to to a different building during a strike.

    The exception being if the District provides a place at the school for children to go during the strike.

    Many or most parents need to provide transportation for their students during a strike, or take time off their job to accommodate the teacher strike.

    Obviously teachers with students in the striking District are affected differently than teachers without students in the striking District.

    One of the worst funded pension systems in the United States is in good health?

    Obviously not.

    It is actually much like Social Security in this country, seeing as teachers in Illinois pay 6.4% of their salary into the TRS, whereas the average American pays 6.2% of the salary into Social Security. Quite comparable systems, when you think about it.

    \Teachers in Illinois are supposed to contributed 9.4% of their pay to the TRS pension plan.
    In many school districts, the collective bargaining agreement includes a provision the Board (thus District thus taxpayers) will pay all or a portion of that 9.4% to the TRS pension plan.

    In fact, in more than a MAJORITY of the school districts in Illinois, the Board pays all or a portion of the 9.4% to the TRS pension plan.

    Have you ever heard of an employer paying all or a portion of an employee’s Social Security contribution?
    Teacher unions will counter the Board Paid TRS is in lieu of a salary increase.

    Often there was a step or lane or base schedule increase or other compensation increases in addition to the Board Paid TRS pension pickup.

    Specifically for CUSD 300.

    Looking at the CUSD 300/LEAD 300 July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 collective bargaining agreement.

    Pages 55 – 56 of 106.

    Item G – TEACHER RETIREMENT SHELTER

    The District shall pay 5% (5/9.5) of the TRS payment. Teacher Retirement System contributions will be sheltered in accordance with and to the extent allowed by law.”

    So the CUSD 300 Board (thus district and taxpayers) paid 5% of the 9.4% teacher contribution to the TRS pension plan.

    Quite comparable systems, when you think about it.

    Not even close.

    The amount a member contributes compared to the payout is FAR greater for TRS than Social Security.

    You can view the pensions of CUSD 300 teachers and administrators on bettergov.org and openthebooks.com.

    You can calculate Social Security payments on the Social Security website at ssa.gov. Select, “Estimate
    Your Retirement Benefits.”

    I don’t value your education?

    I don’t value educators?

    I don’t create a culture where education is important?

    I don’t promote respect of the teaching profession?

    I am not informed?

    I don’t help the students and teachers of D300 in their fight to improve education?

    Excuse me?

    Your attitude seems to be, if I don’t agree with what you say, if you don’t say what I want, I’ll say you don’t value my education, you don’t value educators, you don’t create a culture where education is important, you don’t promote the respect of the teaching profession, you are not informed, and you don’t help the students and teachers of D300 in their fight to improve education.

  4. My last comment would be easier to read if I put quotes around McNicholas comments.

    “One of the worst funded pension systems in the United States is in good health?”

    “It is actually much like Social Security in this country, seeing as teachers in Illinois pay 6.4% of their salary into the TRS, whereas the average American pays 6.2% of the salary into Social Security. Quite comparable systems, when you think about it.”

    “Quite comparable systems, when you think about it.”

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