Rosemary Kurtz Keeps Campaign Promise to Be Fiscal Conservative

Roesmary Kurtz

Roesmary Kurtz

I noticed that the Northwest Herald did not report the vote on the three-years of 4% raises passed by the Crystal Lake High School Board on Tuesday night.

The vote was 6-1.

Newly-elected Rosemary Kurtz was the only one to vote “No.”

Just to refresh your memory about what is in the contract, the previous posts will be put below:

District 155 to Vote on 4% per Year Teacher Salary Increases

D155 School Board to Vote on Teachers’ Contract

Crystal Lake – The D155 Education Association and the Board of Education have been working collaboratively toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

Their efforts resulted in a tentative agreement reached on December 10, 2015.  The Board’s negotiating team is scheduled to recommend that the Board vote for approval of the new agreement at the Board meeting on Tuesday, January 19.

The D155 Education Association ratified the tentative agreement on Friday, January 15.

Johnnie Thomas

Johnnie Thomas

The new contract is for three years and runs July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019.

“I am glad the Board has recognized the work done by our incredible teaching staff.

“Our students excel because of our teachers’ enthusiasm and dedication.

“We feel this tentative agreement will allow us to continue to retain and recruit the best educators,” said Dr. Johnnie Thomas, superintendent.

A summary of the agreement includes additional personal and sick days and annual average salary increases of 3.97% each year.


  • 2016-17 school year: step and lane movement plus a .25 increase to the base

  • 2017-18 school year:

    • First semester: step movement only and, for those teachers who have completed the requisite education credits or degree, a lane change is permitted;

    • Second semester: step movement only,

    • Teachers who are not eligible to move step and lane are eligible for a one time $1,500 longevity bonus

    • There is no increase to the base in the second year

  • 2018-19 school year: step and lane movement (if eligible) plus one-half of the Tax Cap Percentage (based on the consumer price index) will be added to the base


  • One additional personal day; total of three personal days. Only two personal days may be used consecutively.

  • Two additional sick days; total of 14 sick days.

“District 155 has one of the highest quality teaching staffs in the State of Illinois. Inspiring, empowering, and nurturing our students is our top priority and our passion.

“We are especially proud of the collaborative nature of these negotiations, and we are pleased that this agreement will allow us to continue impacting our students with the highest caliber staff each and everyday,” said Justin Hubly, D155 Education Association president.

Both bargaining teams agreed to a letter of understanding that will allow contracts to open if there are any major changes to state and/or federal funding.

Two joint district committees will also be established.

One to review salary structure and a second to review workload.

Figures on D155’s 4% Annual Teacher Salary Increases

After I received the above press release (15 comments so far) about the contents of the contract from Crystal Lake District 155 last night, I submitted some questions.

Those questions and the answers supplied are below:

What will the starting salary be for someone with a bachelor’s degree?

The starting salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree is $46,218.

What will the highest salary be without extra curricular add-ons?

The highest salary without extracurricular add-ons is $116,561. This salary requires a master’s degree with 60 additional hours of college coursework and 20 years of experience.

Does that 4% increase include the cost of increased personal and sick days?

Yes, the increase does include the cost of increased personal and sick days.

What is the estimate cost each of the two years?

The estimated increase for certified salaries and benefits under the tentative ageement for

  • the first year is $1.7 million
  • $2.1 million for the second year
  • the cost estimate for the third year is $2.0 million based on a 1.3% CPI increase

How much of the teachers’ side of the pension payment will the taxpayers pay?

The board paid TRS pension percentage will be the same as the prior contract, 4.7% of the teacher’s credible earnings.


Rosemary Kurtz Keeps Campaign Promise to Be Fiscal Conservative — 11 Comments

  1. Cindy – she has to answer for her votes.

    The NWH did not do their job.

    She kept her promise that is what matters now.

  2. The CHSD 155 Teacher contract was too generous, so Rosemary cast a vote for the taxpayers.

    There was no good reason for the hikes in the contract, as the existing contract is overly generous and coupled with the unsustainable TRS pension is ridiculously overly generous.

    Just as important are the board members who voted against the taxpayers.

    Ted Wagner – Board President
    Gary Oberg – Vice President
    Amy Blazier
    Adam Guss
    Dave Secrest
    Ann Somers


    So what justification did those board members give to hike teacher pay and benefits in the new teacher contract?

    Through their votes they said taxpayers should pay more for public education.

    The public education system is broken in Illinois.

    The way to reform it is to attack the number #1 problem in the entire state, hiked teacher and administrator pension benefits.

    They way to do that is to repeal the pension sentence that was added to the Illinois State Constitution on December 15, 1970.

    The way to do that is to pass a House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment (HJRCA) or Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment (SJRCA) in the Illinois General Assembly.

    There is a bill to do that, HJRCA 0009 in the 99th General Assembly. > Bills & Resolutions > House – Joint Resolutions Constitutional Amendments > HJRCA 0009 ConAmend – Repeal Pension Rights.

    Ask your State Representative and Senator to support it.

    They will say it has no chance of passing this General Assembly.

    They are correct.

    They should still support it.

    They will say it will just make all the public sector workers angry and they will try to vote me out of office.

    They are correct.

    They should still support it because the pensions are a scam.

    The pensions are a scam because the pension benefits were hiked while pensions were underfunded, and that has pretty much happened since the beginning of the pension systems.

    The COGFA report which claims benefit hikes are not the main problem only goes back to 1995, not 1970 when the madness began, and not to the start of the pension systems themselves.

    Two things have been true on average for all of the pensions since their inception.

    1. They were underfunded.

    2. The benefits were hiked.

    That’s the scam.

    Hiking benefits while pensions are underfunded is a scam.

    HJRCA 0009 will not happen this general assembly, but we need to start and built support somewhere and sometime.

    Not having the conversation is not going to solve the problem.

    There are other workarounds but repealing a flawed sentence is the best choice.

    The pension sentence is flawed because it allowed legislative pension benefit hikes to underfunded pensions, and it allowed salary hikes while pensions were underfunded.

    Hiking benefits and hiking salary, hikes the pension.

    Or another way is bankruptcy will be allowed for local units of government including school districts, but even then the constitution protects the pension benefits, so someone would likely sue stating that’s just another way to diminish pensions.

    So the best way is the HJRCA & SJRCA.

    And nobody deserves their pension in full because everybody’s benefits were hiked.

    That’s the Illinois Pension Scam.

  3. Thanks Rosemary !

    Good to see that somebody still has INTEGRITY.

  4. You can thank Rosemary all day long but you are still getting raped by the others.

    Again, I ask the rhetorical question…

    How does this help us?

    Before you answer, look up what that means!

  5. Rosemary is doing what she promised.

    That shows integrity.

    If people want change, elect people that will promise change and be truly representative of the people and their interests.

    Look at Tirio, Jenner and Parrish on the MCC board.

    They are doing what’s right for the people and the college.

    Change is good.

  6. We need more good people to run for school boards.

    That means people who know how to say no to unreasonable demands, and who understand fiscal responsibility.

    Rosemary, along with other fiscal conservatives like Gasser, Wilbeck,Tirio, Jenner, and Parrish, and others, understand that elected officials have to put the taxpayer first if we have any hope at all of saving our communities before a good portion of our citizens move out.

    If our elected officials, especially those on the school boards where 70% of our property taxes go, don’t begin to intelligently make financial decisions and conservatively manage our dwindling funding resources we are in huge trouble.

    I think it is obvious this is one board that truly needs a makeover.

    So who wants to get elected to the D155 School Board.

    The next labor contract comes up in 2019-2020.

    Rosemary is going to need some help to make there are enough votes to ensure that the next teacher contract is stripped of excessive provisions.

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