No ‘”Truth in Reporting” Law Governs Union and Media on Teachers Salary Increases

I went back and looked at Huntley School District 158’s proposal to the teachers union.

It was right there in black and white on the top of page 2.

“…the proposed highlighted increases represent approximately a 5.25% cost increase to the Board in overall compensation to the members in the first year of the proposed contract.”

The 5.25% is not a typo for the “4.25%” salary increase both local newspapers write about in their articles.

Both newspapers imply 4.25% is the total salary increase that was proposed for next year by the board.

Wrong. It is only one part of the salary increase proposal.

When you have a lot of younger teachers, which the union admits in its proposal, you start out with a large percentage of teachers with only a Bachelors degree. These teachers then take courses to get automatic salary increases and Moola.

Lots of Moola.

In the lingo of teachers and union negotiators the salary increase is euphemistically called a “lane change.”

In much the same way Eight Belles was euthanized on the Kentucky Derby track on Saturday. The horse wasn’t “killed.”

In the same “soft speak,” the teachers don’t talk about the salary increases teachers automatically get when they take a few more courses during the summer. That would jar people’s sensibilities.

In District 158, over 4 years of the board’s contract, there will be a large number of salary increases due strictly to teachers’ cashing in on taking more courses.

This is not your one or two or three dozen teachers cashing in. No siree, Bob.

On average, over 4 years you probably have at least every teacher getting one salary increase due strictly to taking a few courses.

This is why the 4.25% salary increase reported in the papers for only one more year of experience in effect low balls the true salary increase that was in the District 158 board’s proposal.

A large fraction, probably most of the difference, between 4.25% and the 5.25% that is in the first part of the proposal, comes from the automatic salary increase resulting from taking more education courses.

Expect the teachers’ union to focus on only the 4.25%.

They will be selling this to the students and community.

Will the newspapers be willing accomplices? Will experienced newspaper editors and young reporters be so gullible?

The teachers and teachers’ union know how to sell their angst.

Meanwhile they are probably laughing at all of the “educated” media types who don’t or won’t report the TOTAL SALARY increase that was actually proposed by the District 158 board.

Does the Huntley school board tell us what the salary increases really are?

Why yes, they do.

On the last page of the proposal.

Not the best place to put it, but no one has ever accused District 158 of having outstanding public relations’ skills.

Students writing for the Huntley high school newspaper, The Voice, shouldn’t be faulted for missing the obvious and writing about the wrong facts in their editorial and article.

They are guided by a teacher. It’s only a high school journalism class. What better place to start the reporters of tomorrow off on the Left Stream track of reporting than showing them how to ignore obvious facts and analysis.

Newspaper reporters and editors ignored the last page in the board’s proposal as well.

What are the salary increase shown on the last page of the board’s contract?

4.53% with no additional courses.

5.32% with a few courses every 2 years.

6.13% with a few courses every 2 years, done twice over the 4 year contract.

These salary percentages are not being highlighted and or even used in newspaper articles.

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