McHenry High School Teacher Contract Finalized

Teachers picketing on Friday at West High School.  No students were seen at about 9:15.

Teachers picketing on Friday at West High School. No students were seen at about 9:15.

Although no details have been released by the McHenry High School District 156 Board, Make found this in the early morning hours:

The McHenry High School District 156 teacher union Facebook website announced 45 minutes ago, “We have reached a Tentative Agreement with the Board of Education.”


Next step, the rank and file teachers vote whether or not to approve the agreement.

The public however does not get to vote whether or not to approve the agreement.

The law should be changed to allow the public to vote whether or not to approve the agreement.

In fact, typically in Illinois the school board does not allow the public to even see the agreement until after the school board and union lawyers have agreed upon the agreement, which is often months after the rank and file teachers vote whether or not to approve the agreement.

It is not a level playing field for voters in Illinois.

Yes we know that teachers are voters too, that’s obvious.


No notification yet of a tentative agreement on the school district website or facebook page.

= = = = =

At 10 AM, I found the following on the District 156 web site:

Return to School

McHenry Community High School 156 School Board and Teachers’ Association have reached a tentative agreement.  School will resume on Tuesday, October 13.  Because Tuesday is a late start day, East students will begin at 8:20 and West students at 8:30 a.m.

The MCHS football game vs. Huntley has been moved to Saturday, October 17 at McCracken Field.  Sophomores will play at 11:00 and Varsity at 1:00 p.m.  Senior football players, band members and their parents will be recognized before the Varsity game.  The Homecoming Court from both schools will be recognized at halftime of the Varsity game and Coronation will be held at the dance.

The Homecoming dance has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 17 at 8:00 p.m. at the West Campus main gym.  Tickets will be sold during lunch periods on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Students who plan to bring guests must have them approved using the Guest Dance Form that is available on the District website before purchasing tickets.  Students who attend the dance must bring a valid school ID.  Guests must bring a valid school ID or driver’s license.

School administrators will work with the student council to determine rescheduling of other homecoming activities. Student Council Executive Boards will meet at 7:45am on Tuesday, October 13. East students will meet in room 308 and West students will meet in the Career Center.

The athletic calendar is being continually updated on the district website as events have been rescheduled.


McHenry High School Teacher Contract Finalized — 34 Comments

  1. **The law should be changed to allow the public to vote whether or not to approve the agreement.**


    Do you think that voters should be able to vote on every contract that any governmental entity signs?

    Or just those contracts with the evil unions?

    The public DOES have a vote – they have the ability to vote for the school board who makes the decisions.

    Let me know when you start advocating for public voter approval of every corporate handout.

    Maybe the public should have been able to vote on permitting Centegra to build in Huntley.

    And if Crystal Lake should repave a road.

    And if the School District is allowed to buy milk.

  2. Yes Dave, we should.

    And if the Board followed my clear outline, we’d be well on our way to putting in place, permanent replacement teachers and breaking the stranglehold of the teachers unions on taxpayers pockets.

    Yes that the voters are stupid enough to vote for former and current teachers, in these ridiculous elections to fill these Board slots.

    Do you get it now voters?

  3. If teachers want a larger pay hike than the board offers, they call a strike and walk with a sign such as the above stating, “We want a fair settlement – IEA – NEA.”

    Then countless moms, and dads too, come to the defense of the teachers stating we support the teachers.

    Most of the these parents have no clue as to the entire compensation package of the teachers.

    Here are the salary and pensions of McHenry High School District 156 teachers, last names beginning with the letters A – V.

    W – Z will be added.

    This is historic.

    Tracking the salary and pension history of individual teachers and administrators in one spot with this level of detail has never before been presented in the United States.

    The information presented is salary history by teacher with the title and years worked, coupled with the pension history and Years of Service), member contribution to the pension fund, member contribution to the pension fund as a % of the estimated lifetime pension payout, estimated lifetime pension payout, and total pension paid to date.

    Why was this done.

    Because the teachers claim they want a fair settlement.

    How can taxpayers determine what’s fair or not if the taxpayers don’t have the compensation history and details.

    Even the level of detail provided in the link does not tell the entire story because the healthcare benefits of current workers and retirees are not presented.

    The teachers in this district have an excellent overall compensation package and there was no justifiable reason for them to use the draconian measure of a teacher strike and interrupting the schedules and lives of so many people whom are forced to pay taxpayer dollars to support the monopoly public education system with its monopoly labor unions.

    Other than loosing goodwill, the teachers have nothing to lose on a strike.

    They probably are not paid during the strike, but they receive retroactive pay.

    The teachers could have very well called off the strike in time for the homecoming game to be played and the homecoming dance to take place.

    Instead the kids and parents have to adjust their schedules for a different homecoming game and dance.

    Here is the salary and pension history of teachers and administrators in McHenry High School District 156.

    So all the supporters of the teachers in the teacher strike, tell us which teachers were underpaid and why.

    Tell us the plan to fully fund the pension and retiree healthcare plan.

    There is no such plan.

    Not only is there no such plan, there are 18 other pension systems and who knows how many retiree healthcare plans for which there is no plan.

    Taken into its entirety the current educational funding is already unaffordable and no one has a plan how to make it affordable.

    But guess who is being stuck with the pension and retiree healthcare credit card IOU tab.

    The kids whom the teachers are now striking against.

    So here we are going on strike to hike pay which will hike pensions, yet we cannot afford the current pensions and retiree healthcare, those systems are unsustainable and have been for decades.

    Everyone points fingers every which way, but no plan.

    Why don’t the teachers go on strike to fund their pensions?

    Because then there would be less money to hike salaries.

    The teachers want to have their cake and eat it too and accept no responsibility for the unaffordable system, instead blaming politicians for not fully funding their pensions, and stating that politicians agreed to everything.

    All the people that support the teachers what are your precise reasons for supporting the teachers in this strike.

    The exact reasons with details and supporting documentation.

    About the only thing you hear is we want higher pay for teachers so they don’t go to another district.

    Never mind is it affordable.

    How about the struggling kids that could have received more support with the money that instead went to hiking teacher pay.

    Don’t the parents want more support struggling kids?

    No the parents would rather hike teacher pay.

    There are teachers that work very hard and deserve to be well compensated and taxpayers also deserve a sustainable reasonably priced educational system with sustainable pensions and retiree healthcare systems.

    Taxpayers deserve to see and vote on the same collective bargaining agreement that teachers vote on.

    Why is a one way street.

  4. We have done it both ways for the last two contracts I have been involved with at Cary-26.

    In 2014, we released the information regarding salary increases, insurance, retirement, length of day, etc.

    In 2011, which was an 11 month long process, we held the specifics until the union had a chance to present the agreement to its members.

    I think the specific circumstances determines a Board’s path.

  5. If the teachers get to vote on the collective bargaining agreement, the voters should get to vote on the collective bargaining agreement.

    The teachers vote for their union leaders.

    The taxpayers vote for the board, and that includes the teachers.

    It’s not a level playing field right now and the taxpayers are suffering as a result and those who will suffer the most are the kids now being educated thanks to the unfunded pension and retiree healthcare liability.

  6. After the collective bargaining agreements are finalized, for transparency reasons two copies should be posted on the district website, both searchable.

    1. The new agreement.

    2. The change document (with strikethroughs for deletions and some way to indicate additions.

    In most cases it’s too difficult for taxpayers to determine exactly which changes were made and where without a change document.

    Obviously the board and union has a change document.


    Cary elementary school district is one of the few school boards in the state which has in the past presented collective bargaining details to the public prior to the union voting on the matter.

    But it’s an ingrained culture in Illinois to lock voters out of the decision making process on these collective bargaining agreements and we have seen the consequences, very generous pay and benefit hikes over the years in many of these negotiations.

    It’s not to the taxpayers advantage to be locked out of the decision making process on whether or not a collective bargaining agreement gets approved.

    The pay and benefits have escalated too much over the years in many of these agreements and there’s a lot of evidence of that.

  7. For an extreme case of what we are talking about above look what has happened in Chicago.

    The Fall of Chicago. There Will Be No Economic Recovery.
    by Stefan Molyneux
    Published on Jul 31, 2015

    The speaker has an obvious political ideology and so feel free to ignore that and just concentrate on some of the facts he presents, and arguably he goes a bit overboard at times.

    Taking cumulatively it’s a very bad situation and a of that has to do with overly generous collective bargaining agreements not approved by voters and unfunded pensions and retiree healthcare liabilities using the tried and true techniques of hide and seek, kick the can, catch me if you can.

  8. With 15-22% turnout in regular elections, those saying “we” should vote on the CBA are so naive. Difficult to even read their nonsensical and uneducated views!
    Kudos to the members of the school board who do all of this for not a penny of pay, but for the love of their community.

  9. One of the largest groups that votes in all elections are unions, particularly teachers.

    Wish I could see the voting record of some of the mopes commenting above.

  10. Teacher pay and benefits where hiked through collective bargaining agreements.

    The way to control those hikes going forwards are:

    1. Prior to final approval by the board, voters are presented the collective bargaining agreement for voter approval.

    2. Voters are provided the change document, the previous current collective bargaining agreement, and the new collective bargaining agreement.

    3. Voters are provided by the board an analysis of the changes.

    4. Voters vote on the proposed changes. The rank and file teachers vote is required to approve the agreement, so the rank and file voter should also be required to approve the agreement.

    That is not a perfect system.

    There is no perfect system.

    But that is a vast improvement over the existing system.

    Sure there may very well be low voter turnout for such a vote.

    But it’s better than no voter turnout.

    Right now the teacher union has too much power in collective bargaining negotiations.

    The union feels threatened to any changes to the status quo which is currently stacked to their advantage.

    Anyone familiar with school districts knows that teacher collective bargaining agreements are the driving force between higher teacher pay and benefits, that’s a basic fact.

    That is collective bargaining 101.

  11. **Yes Dave, we should.**


    You think that “the public” should vote on every decision that government makes? Woh.

    **If the teachers get to vote on the collective bargaining agreement, the voters should get to vote on the collective bargaining agreement.

    The teachers vote for their union leaders.

    The taxpayers vote for the board, and that includes the teachers.**

    We elect government officials to make decisions for the body that they represent.

    Mark – do you think that voters should be able to vote to approve every decision a school board makes?

    Where is the line?

    And why is just the big bad union contracts that need a vote on?

    I demand a vote before the government sends people off to war. You agree? What about when we bomb charity hospitals? I’d like to vote before that decision.

    This whole “let the voters approve” argument is illogical and irrational.

  12. Dave we already know where each side stood as their positions were already made public, why hold back at the end, hiding facts at anytime is not good.

    Hiding breeds more hiding, time all is made public as it happens.

    Historically teachers wages and benefits have taken up a part of the 80% normally budgeted for wages.

    If that exceeds that historic portion we should know, because if it does other parts of the budget will suffer also.

    Eventually that means higher levy or like in Dist 26 a few years back a big rate increase.

    No we don’t need to vote on every thing, just the things that can effect our taxes in a big way.

    Certainly tax rate changes, levy changes, and major tax changes like BOcare as a example.

    We’ll never control taxes without a ever bigger say by the voters.

    It’s more illogical and irrational to keep doing the same thing and expect things will ever get better.

  13. **Dave we already know where each side stood as their positions were already made public, why hold back at the end, hiding facts at anytime is not good.**

    Please point out where I said anything about hiding facts.

    I haven’t said a word about whether or not the board should publicize the details of the contract before the vote.

    That is a very different argument than whether or not the public should be able to vote to approve the contract.

  14. Fair?

    I read the signs.

    Exactly who is supposed to be getting treated fairly? Not the taxpayers or their children.

    Those piggy banks get lighter and eventually emptied.

    As also happens with savings accounts and college funds.

    Fair would probably be the going rate the voters get.

    If voters don’t get mandatory raises and free health care, neither should the public employees.

    These teachers are not working in sweatshops.

    That nonsense excuse is long over.

    Vote out all Democrats locally and in the country, then we might have a chance at fair.

  15. The proposal is listed above.

    Collective bargaining agreements.

    The screws are being tightened and people are getting nervous.

  16. **Vote out all Democrats locally and in the country, then we might have a chance at fair.**

    LOL – and how many Democrats are elected in McHenry County?

    But somehow its all still the Democrats’ fault?

  17. **Collective bargaining agreements.**

    And, once again, why just collective bargaining agreements?

    Why not vendor contracts?

    Why not corporate welfare?

    Why not new road projects?

    Why not building projects?

    Why not parking restrictions?

    I know, I know.

    Its the big bad teachers destroying everything.

    *rolls eyes*

  18. By the way it is not a Democrat or Republican issue.

    Democrats and Republicans have gotten us into this mess.

    Former Republican Jim Thompson signed the legislation was allowed collective bargaining for public school teachers.

    And it’s not collective bargaining that is the big problem.

    It is the current laws, policies, and procedures surrounding collective bargaining.

    It is not a level playing field for the taxpayers right now and the results have been overly generous collective bargaining agreements.

  19. The proposal is listed above.

    Collective bargaining reform.

    If someone wants a proposal for something else have at it.

    It’s clear current collective bargaining law is a problem.

  20. By the way there is a TIF seminar coming up at the Woodstock Public Library.

    That’s not a Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal issue.

    If you are concerned about giveaways sign up for and attend the TIF seminar and spread the word.

    The ad for the TIF seminar is on the left side of the screen.

    Tom Tresser will be speaking.

    Voters in Action is sponsoring.

  21. Headline should read as follows: “McHenry County Property Tax Raise Finalized”.

    As the Exodus From Illinois continues unabated.

  22. The only practical protection for taxpayers, I think, is a property tax rate cap.
    California and Indiana property taxes are capped at 1% of fair market value. Massachusetts is 2.5%.

    Limit the amount of money the unions have access to, then let them fight amongst themselve for equitable distribution.

  23. A property tax cap can be part of the equation but is likely not enough.

    One issue is any exceptions to the cap, such as working cash bonds, life safety bonds, general obligation bonds, pension obligation bonds, etc.

    There are all sorts of rabbits the taxing districts can pull out of their tax hiking hat.

    Definitely more transparency is required for what is transpiring in these taxing districts and the state because otherwise the taxpayers are too easily mislead in bond and tax hike referendums and other tax hiking initiatives which voters agree too without having all the information they really need to make an informed decision.

    Just as in this strike the unions and special interests will punish taxpayers taxpayers if a tax cap were implemented by cutting where it hurts most, with the message if you don’t want these painful cuts, agree to a tax hiking referendum.

  24. I believe tax caps in other states are straightforward.

    1% of home value, period.

    If home values fall, tax on the home falls.

    PTELL has all those loopholes to be sure.

    I suppose if we had a tax rate cap proyptecteion we would not need PTELL, which has turned out to be no protection at all .

    (In Woodstock, total property tax rate is 5% of fair market value.

    Woodstock CUSD200 accounts for 2.73% tax on full fair market value of homes.

    That tax rate alone is stunning.

    Woodstock real estate is crushed with no hope of recovery.

    School board has amassed debt&mac cried unpaid interest now in excess of 6.5% of total property value in district, even with the statutory debt cap of 4.6%

    School board unapologetically staying the course of spending and borrowing as they please).

  25. That’s the problem, Illinois vs other states.

    Illinois state law is notorious for ambiguity and exceptions and chipping away at existing laws.

  26. I would print out some flyers about the Woodstock taxes and hand them out at the TIF seminar.

  27. All of you are complaining about money and extracurricular activities instead of worrying about your kid’s education.

    Teachers have been abused by the Republican party since the Bush administration.

    They won’t criticize the police and the republican party threw the very hero firefighters of 9/11 that Bush stood with to the wolves, by not passing the bill to care for those with respiratory problems from 9/11.

    So your children don’t need remedial courses when they go to college encourage them to take all four years of math and science and do well.

    Most kids go to MCC and can’t pass the tests.

    The Leave NO Child Behind law taught kid’s to memorize answers to tests not to think.

    They blamed teachers if test scores were low instead of honoring teachers who creatively helped the children have curiosity and learn more and think more.

  28. That is a factually inaccurate observation.

    Poor academic results and harmful impact on students have repeatedly been mentioned in comments.

    Complaints about money have to do with the poor educational product obtained relative to the money spent on it. Comparisons to other states and other districts with lower OEPP have been numerous.

    Few of the comments mention party politics, other than your own.
    Comments about monopolistic control, corruption and bully tactics center around Union behavior, not any political party.

  29. Re: “Yes we know that teachers are voters too, that’s obvious.”

    The question is: How many of the teachers in this district live in Wisconsin and are not affected by the property tax increases in McHenry County?

    Follow up: If Rauner is successful in gettimg a property tax freeze, how many teachers will be fired because the district cannot afford to fund their salaries and benefits?

    Still only one solution to the problem: Eliminate the right to strike for all public sector employees and do not remove all laws relative to ‘forced’ arbitration.

  30. Should read: Remove all laws – eliminate the ‘do not’.

  31. It is a good point that those awarded public money pension ought to be required to live within the affected district.

    That is the case with some offices.

  32. Speaking of not letting taxpayers see contracts:

    The former CEO of Chicago Public Schools will plead guilty to an indictment that alleges she was part of a $20 million no-bid contracts scheme in exchange for bribes and kickbacks.

    An attorney for Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who resigned earlier this year from the nation’s third-largest school district, said Thursday she “takes full responsibility for her conduct,” and will testify if required.

    According to an indictment Thursday, even before she was hired to run Chicago Public Schools in 2012, Byrd-Bennett, 66, set up a scheme to get a 10 percent kickback on all the CPS contracts she could steer to a former employer, in part to set up a college fund for her twin grandsons.

    The indictment also alleges that bribes and kickbacks included tickets to sports events.

    Byrd-Bennett, 66, is charged with several counts of mail and wire fraud that each carry maximum 20-year prison sentences.

    Similarly charged are two companies, SUPES Academy and a related company, Synesi Associates LLC, and their owners, Gary Soloman and Thomas Vranas, both also charged with bribery and conspiracy to defraud, along with mail and wire fraud.

    “I have tuition to pay and casinos to visit :)” federal prosecutors said the then $250,000 per year schools’ head wrote in one of many emails discussing the alleged kickbacks.

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