District 300 Makes Final Offer

Here’s the first twelve pages of the District 300 School Board’s Final Office to it teachers union, called LEAD300.   If you want to read the whole 69-page document, here it is:

Introduction and Summary of Final Offer

The Board of Education of Community Unit School District 300 began bargaining with the Local Education Association of District 300 (LEAD 300) in January 2012. In July, the parties jointly requested mediation, and after eleven mediation sessions, on Monday, November 5, LEAD 300 declared impasse.

By law, each party is required to submit their final offers to each other, the mediator and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board within seven days of a declaration of impasse. Accordingly, the Board is submitting this final offer.

As has been stated by the President of the Board of Education, Anne Miller, “The Board is dedicated to negotiating a contract that is good for students, fair for teachers and fiscally responsible to our community. It is our sincere hope that a strike will be averted. We are fortunate to have a caring, competent and highly qualified staff.”

During the negotiations, LEAD 300 has emphasized that its primary goals are class size and the work environment. The Board listened and responded. For the first time, the Board is committed to including class size limits in its collective bargaining agreement. The Board has committed to lowering class sizes at the elementary schools and to maintaining those lower class sizes.

The Board has also made numerous commitments to address other work environment issues that were raised during negotiations, including flexibility and control over plan time and arrival and departure times. LEAD 300 asked for a bullying policy, and the Board agreed that the two sides should jointly draft one for adoption by the Board. Special Education teachers asked for relief from their ever-increasing paperwork and IEP administration requirements, and the Board responded with five additional compliance assurance days.

LEAD 300 also asked, and the Board agreed, to transition the high schools to a 9-period day, which yields benefits for staff, students and administration. The 9-period day mimics the structure of the current 8- period day by continuing to have 45 minute academic instructional periods of time, something which currently fits all users’ needs. The difference in the 9-period day is that the lunch period for students and staff is extended from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

Students benefit from this change in that they can utilize the additional time to complete school work.

Staff benefits in the new configuration because more high school teachers have a five class work load accompanied with an assigned supervision.

Central to every negotiation are the economic proposals– salaries and benefits. Given today’s economic environment, the Board has offered a strong salary and benefit package to its employees with the knowledge that the fiscal strength of the District is in the best interests of its students, its employees and its taxpayers.

The Board has asked LEAD 300 to phase out end-of-career salary increases over the life of this contract. It is common knowledge that pension reform is coming to Illinois, and school districts will presumably bear at least some of the cost of that reform. Neither the District nor the State can afford to continue the traditional end-of-career salary and pension enhancements.

The Board’s final offer is summarized in the following pages. There are also other outstanding issues that remain between the parties. A complete copy of the Board’s final offer is attached to this document.

* The union position represented references the most recent LEAD 300 position and does not reflect any changes LEAD 300 may be contemplating for its final offer.

General Background Information

The Board’s primary goals for a new contract are:

  • Act in a fiscally responsible manner by ensuring that the District’s limited resources are used wisely, that the District’s expenditures do not exceed its revenues, and that taxpayers are not unduly burdened; and
  • Attract and retain a quality teaching staff; and
  • Provide staff with a fair and competitive salary and benefits package; and
  • Provide staff with the support and resources necessary to ensure a positive workplace climate and a successful learning environment; and
  • Provide current and future students with a quality education and learning environment by carefully allocating the District’s limited resources in order to avoid reductions in staff, address large class sizes, and avert programmatic cuts.

Past Negotiations

As illustrated in the chart below, the District’s salary increases have averaged 3.2% over the last five years. The average salary increase includes annual step increases, a salary increase based on the length of time a teacher has been employed in the district. The average salary increase does not include annual lane movement increases, a salary increase based on teachers obtaining advanced degrees.
To remain financially stable, it is imperative that the District’s expenditure increases are in alignment with the District’s revenue increases. Increases to property tax revenue, the District’s largest revenue source, are tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). For the last five years, the Board’s wage and benefit package for teachers has exceeded the average 2.2% CPI for this same period.

The Board’s proposed contract provides an average salary increase of 2.4% per year for the 2012-2015 3-year contract. Since the inception of the tax cap, CPI has averaged 2.5%. The Board believes that the current proposed contract is fair and fiscally responsible.

* The union position represented references the most recent LEAD 300 position and does not reflect any changes LEAD 300 may be contemplating for its final offer.

Comparability Data

The Board believes that teacher compensation for District 300 is competitive with surrounding Kane and McHenry County unit school districts. The chart below illustrates how District 300 beginning and highest teachers’ salaries compare among the 14 unit school districts in Kane and McHenry counties on three major benchmarks.
The 14 unit school districts used for this comparison are

  • Alden Hebron SD 19,
  • Harvard CUSD 50,
  • Johnsburg CUSD 12,
  • Kaneland CUSD 302,
  • Huntley CUSD 158,
  • Aurora East USD 131,
  • Elgin SD U-46,
  • Central CUSD 301,
  • Batavia USD 101,
  • Geneva CUSD 304,
  • Woodstock CUSD 200,
  • St. Charles CUSD 303,
  • Aurora West USD 129 and
  • Carpentersville CUSD 300.

Staff Retention

The Board is committed to attracting and retaining high quality teachers. The Board believes that the
District’s entry level salary amount and award-winning Induction and Mentoring program for novice
teachers are two factors that address this commitment. The Board’s intention is to bargain a contract
providing for a stable financial environment that will continue to positively impact the retention and
attraction of quality teaching staff. Data for the last three school years indicates an average teacher
retention rate of approximately 98%.

* The union position represented references the most recent LEAD 300 position and does not reflect any changes LEAD 300 may be contemplating for its final offer.

Proposals with Financial Impact

SALARY SCHEDULE

Board Salary Schedule Proposal Details

Teachers will be paid according to the following:

2012-2013: Teachers will advance one step on the salary schedule. In addition, the salary schedule will be increased by .75%. Teachers with a Master’s or Doctorate degree on Step 25 of the salary schedule and non-certified nurses will receive an increase of 2.75% in 2012-2013.

2013-2014: Teachers will advance one step on the salary schedule. Teachers with a Master’s or Doctorate degree on Step 25 of the salary schedule and non-certified nurses will receive an increase of 2.00%.

2014-2015: Teachers will advance one step on the salary schedule. In addition, the salary schedule will be increased by .50%. Teachers with a Master’s or Doctorate degree on Step 25 of the salary schedule and non-certified nurses will receive an increase of 2.50%.

* The union position represented references the most recent LEAD 300 position and does not reflect any changes LEAD 300 may be contemplating for its final offer.

The salary schedule for the duration of the contract would be as follows:
* The union position represented references the most recent LEAD 300 position and does not reflect any changes LEAD 300 may be contemplating for its final offer.


* The union position represented references the most recent LEAD 300 position and does not reflect any changes LEAD 300 may be contemplating for its final offer.

Rationale for Board Salary Proposal

The Board is dedicated to negotiating a contract that is good for students, fair for teachers and fiscally responsible to our community. Given today’s economic environment, the Board has offered a strong salary and benefit package to its employees with the knowledge that the fiscal strength of the District is in the best interests of its students, its employees and its taxpayers. The District’s projections indicate that to provide salary increases greater than what is currently proposed will either jeopardize the District’s educational program or place an undue burden on our taxpayers during these difficult
economic times. While the Board is willing to provide increases commensurate with the certified LEAD members’ increases to non-certified nurses, they do not agree with placing the non-certified nurses on a salary schedule.

Board Salary Cost Summary

The Board’s proposed total salary costs and annual salary increases without retirees are as follows:

* The union position represented references the most recent LEAD 300 position and does not reflect any changes LEAD 300 may be contemplating for its final offer.

RETIREMENT

Rationale for Board Retirement Proposal

It is widely reported that the General Assembly is considering legislation that would shift the State’s required contributions to the teachers’ pension system to local school districts, or penalize local school districts for any end-of-career salary increases. Therefore, the Board has proposed that the current retirement plan’s end-of-career salary increases be phased out during the three years of this agreement and that the post-retirement benefit be reduced. This allows teachers at or near retirement age to have a final opportunity to take advantage of end of career salary increases.

Board Retirement Proposal Cost Summary

For the 2012-2013 school year, the salary cost for the 121 staff members currently on the retirement track is $10,627,043. The salary cost for these staff member would be $10,226,023 without the current retirement incentive for an increase of $401,021. The compounding effect of the current retirement benefit is not reflected in this number.

In the collective bargaining agreement that expired on July 1, teachers who submitted a notice of retirement were given a 6% salary increase over their prior year’s creditable earnings for up to four years prior to retirement.

Board:

The Board is also proposing that if retirement legislation is enacted resulting in additional costs to the District, then the parties may reopen and renegotiate this provision. Additionally, the Board is proposing that the retirement incentive ends with this agreement, so after the 2014-2015 school year, future retirees will not receive an end-of-career salary increase. Lastly, the proposal eliminates post-retirement HRA contributions for unused sick leave not reported to the Teachers’ Retirement System.

LEAD 300*:

The Board’s proposal is designed to reduce the overall costs of this benefit, but we are unable to determine the projected future cost savings at this time because the District does not know the number of teachers that will elect to retire under the Board’s proposed plan.

*The union position represented references the most recent LEAD 300 position and does not reflect any changes LEAD 300 may be contemplating for its final offer.


Comments

District 300 Makes Final Offer — 5 Comments

  1. It’s a great thing that D300 is living in a place where their residence are not struggling and having their homes foreclosed on.

    Oh wait, that is the case in D300 and they are just a typical union that wants to screw the taxpayers with insane wage increases.

    I do not think that many people, if any, are seeing wage increases like that!

    D300 union members are

    (1) absolutely stupid or

    (2) insanely greedy and do not care about our kids, just money.

    If they strike I do not know too many parents/taxpayers that will be supportive of them!

    Idiots!

  2. If the adults making these decisions really think that students are going to utilize the longer lunch period by completing school work during the added 15 minutes, then we are worse off than I thought.

  3. This is another reason why we must move toward Charter Schools , Home Schooling and On -Line education programs.

    These raises have gone on and on and this data does not show the huge Administration pay and increases.

    Then factor in the Regional Superintendents costs ( in my opinion they offer no value) and we the tax payer are so abused and our children are more so abused by a system we pay for.

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