McHenry Grade School 15 Paraprofessionals: “Poverty wages have got to go. Hey hey, Ho ho”

A Friend of McHenry County Blog sent a couple of photos of the McHenry Grade School District paraprofessionals rally.

The chant was, “Poverty wages have got to go. Hey hey, Ho ho.”

The current salary schedule can be seen below:

Salary schedule for McHenry Elementary School District 15 paraprofessionals.

Additional information:

Head Custodian In addition to any salaries paid, the Head Custodian in each building shall be paid a differential of 10% of his/her total salary.

A night custodian who works as a substitute for a Head Custodian for more than five (5) consecutive days and takes on the responsibilities of that position, shall receive the 5% differential in hourly pay beginning with the sixth consecutive day for the hours he/she works as a substitute.

“Highly Qualified” Paraprofessionals Any full or part-time member of the bargaining unit, who have met the criterion established by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and are deemed “Highly Qualified” for, instructional support will be paid a differential, hourly wage of thirty cents ($.30) for their advanced education or certification. The employee’s current assignment need not require the “Highly Qualified” designation to qualify for the differential.

Under the contract, strikes are not permitted.


McHenry Grade School 15 Paraprofessionals: “Poverty wages have got to go. Hey hey, Ho ho” — 22 Comments

  1. Why are so many of these parasite paraprofessionals so obese?

  2. Yep, the only thing faster than the County cashing my property tax checks last week, which helped pay for this nonsense.

    Would be this heard of bison hitting the trough to feed.

  3. It was so nice to see school board member Erik Sivertsen out to show his support!

    Or maybe he was there as a “friend of the blog”…

  4. Wow, what a way to sway an argument by making personal attacks instead of using facts and maturity.

    Hopefully Mark will offer some facts.

    It’s not an unreasonable request that these folks make a little more than low/no-skill high school kids working in the food service arena.

    The parapros provide important assistance so we don’t have to pay for an over-qualified certified teacher.

    The trick is accommodating this while reducing our crazy tax burden.

    Either way, if you only have something stupid to say, say it while your fingers are anywhere but your keyboard.

  5. What recently happened in McHenry Elementary District 15 is what happens in a lot of school districts where the collective bargaining agreements of the teachers, and other bargaining units, expire simultaneously, or close to one another.

    The teacher agreement gets negotiated first, and the other bargaining unit(s) get the leftovers.

    That was the case here, even though the paraprofessional (support staff) agreement expired on June 30, 2017 and the teacher agreement expired the day before the start of the 2017 – 2018 school year.


    The teachers union is more powerful than the paraprofessionals union, namely because teacher unions have more members, higher salaries, and more stringent licensing requirements, which results in:

    – more union dues money for the union itself.

    – more powerful threat of a strike.


    The teachers collective bargaining agreement always contains more lucrative benefits than the support staff collective bargaining agreement.

    The teachers have a more lucrative pension plan than the support staff.

    The teachers are in the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois (TRS) pension plan.

    The support staff are in the IMRF pension plan.


    The unions present in McHenry Elementary District 15 (McHenry CCSD 15):


    Teachers union:

    McHenry Elementary Education Association, IEA-NEA.

    They name of the teachers union in the previous collective bargaining agreement was the McHenry Classroom Teachers’ Association (MCTA), IEA-NEA.

    IEA = Illinois Education Association, the statewide teacher union affiliate.

    NEA = National Education Association, the nationwide teacher union.

    The MCTA collective bargaining agreement (cba) was set to expire the day before the start of the 2017 – 2018 school year.

    The new teachers agreement expires the day prior to the start of the 2022 – 2023 agreement (listed on pdf page 30 of the cba, which is page 26 of the hard copy document, under “Duration”).

    The renegotiated agreement, and the previous agreement, are posted on the district website, along with the agreements for the other bargaining units, at


    Paraprofessionals (Support Staff) union:

    McHenry Educational Support Personnel, IEA-NEA

    The agreement expired June 30, 2017 (listed on pdf page 30 of the cba, which is page 25 of the hard copy version, under “Term of Agreement”).


    Transportation union (bus drivers):

    McHenry School Transportation Association, IEA-NEA

    This cba expires June 30, 2018 (pdf page 26, which is page 25 of the hard copy, listed under “Duration”).


    If one feels charitable, the paraprofessionals (support staff) are lower paid so remember them when passing out the gift cards, holiday cards, and thank you notes at the local school.

    They tend not to get much recognition.


    Unlike Harvard CUSD 50 and the massive CUSD 300 school district (which covers parts of Algonquin, Carpentersville, Dundee, Gilberts, Hampshire, Lake in the Hills, Pingree Grove, Sleepy Hollow, and West Dundee), the McHenry Elementary District 15 are not not failing or impoverished enough for qualifying students to be eligible for tuition scholarships to attend private schools.

    That is a new temporary 5 year program that is part of Senate Bill 1947 (SB 1947) which was passed under Chicago Democrat House leader Michael Madigan and Chicago Democrat Senate leader John Cullerton and signed by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner on August 31, 2017 into Public Act 100-0465 (PA 100-0465).

  6. One note.

    Strikes are not permitted during the contract.

    But once the contract expires, which this one (paraprofessionals / support staff) has, then a strike are permissible.


    The best way to understand the issues is to read the collective bargaining agreement (cba).

    Anything that doesn’t make sense, one can call the business office at the school district (the cba is posted in the business office section of the website) and ask questions.

  7. Some things to keep in mind.

    There are several names for this classification of worker:

    – paraprofessionals

    – support staff

    – education supporter personnel (ESP)


    Another point is the grouping of such workers varies by school district.

    In some districts, bus drivers will be included in such a bargaining unit.

    In some districts, bus drivers have their own bargaining unit.

    In some districts, bus drivers are not in a bargaining unit.

    In some districts, bus drivers are outsourced.

    Similarly, in some districts, maintenance personnel have their own bargaining unit.


  8. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In the name of transparency, accountability and the sunshine holy spirit, Amen. Tic, tock, tic, tock…

  9. We didn’t have all these positions when I was a kid.

    No ESL teacher, None of this garbage and I am not that smart but my simple education exceeded anything that I see today.

    Most younger adults cannot even do simple math never mind write a letter.

    Our education system is a disgrace.

  10. Nice touch that they should pick such a racial chant.

    Variations of the chant (recorded in February 1956 at University of Alabama) that were shouted at the student by angry crowds were “Hey, hey, ho. ho. where the hell did the Negro go?”

  11. eminclake, your empathetic bleating is symptomatic of why our property taxes are through the roof,

    If you don’t see the ‘joke’ of a group that chose, (got that?chose) to work for an agreed upon rate, than decides it’s not ‘fair’.

    Why don’t you set up a I’m A Dope Fund, just cut a check with your money and make up the difference?

    I for one, am sick of the fraud and greed of teachers unions, packaged under the guise of ‘it’s for the kids’.

  12. “Hey, hey, ho, ho”! So pathetic.

    Union groups in protest have been using this
    childish chant for many years.

    But, guess that is the level of their creativity
    and sophistication.

    Namely, none.

  13. D-15 has the 2nd highest Operating Tax Rate of any elementary district in the county.

    Here is the list sorted highest to lowest (Rate per $100/EAV):

    3 5.447
    15 5.184
    36 4.998
    46 4.648
    47 4.162
    2 3.842
    18 3.745
    26 3.694
    165 3.211

    To put that in perspective, if D-15 had the same rate as D-26, they would be taking $13.8 million LESS from their community in taxes (or about 28.7% less than today).

  14. DJ, you’ve mistaken my rational approach to this specific issue as supportive of the NEA/IEA agenda.

    Frankly, I can’t stand the teachers union.

    In fact, I consider most unions legalized extortionists.

    But I’m also mature and experienced enough to be able to sort through grandstanding and listen to the core issue.

    The “back in my day” argument always falls on deaf ears.

    The paraprofessionals serve important roles, including assisting kids with learning issues (i.e., “Specials.”)

    Their value is greater than a fast food employee.

    Now, D15 definitely has some things to address given their high taxes, and the D15 taxpayer deservedly is owed some accountability.

    But as Mark points out, this protesting group is getting sloppy seconds from the real problem in this equation (the teachers) and I do think it could have an impact on the system overall.

    Maybe pitting one group against the other would help resolve this, but that’s simply naive.

    And that’s where the school board comes in.

    Which is where the D15 voter comes in.


    Check out the link to legally required disclosure of the amounts involved in “benefits”.

    In Woodstock D200 the benefits amount to roughly 1/3 of posted salary.

    The people on strike suggest that their wages are too low, but disingenuously fail to mention that
    their total actual compensation packages are around 130% of salaries as stated (and that’s without 4% annual raises, steps and ladders and funnels and pension spiking which yes, pension spiking at
    taxpayer expense is included in latest contract of these workers).

    That is, $12/hour=more than $16/hour, and that is just first year.

    And don’t forget unparalleled days off and sick days, which may be collected to aid in pension spiking.

  16. eminclake?

    You are laboring under a misperception if you belive you are mature and experienced with all that claptrap.

    You are BEING HAD!

    Look up Bolshevik revolutions.

    Get some real knowledge.

  17. Blue Libertarian, I did attend yesterday’s rally.

    I greatly appreciate those who work in our schools, without these people the district would literally be a mess.

    I am not a member of the Board’s negotiation committee, but I will be voting on the final language of the contract.

    Because these meetings are not open meetings, the board members who are not on the negotiation committee, don’t get to hear the concerns that are expressed during the negotiation process.

    As a couple of comments have already pointed out, District 15 is already taking too much in taxes and spending too much.

    We have to find a balance between paying a fair wage based on the market (not based on an arbitrary number supported by catchy phrases and emotional nonsense, but actually based on the wages that the local market is paying for similar positions) and protecting the taxpayers.

  18. More comprehensive names for the Coffey chart on 09/06/2017 at 10:08 am.

    McHenry County Elementary School District Operating Tax Rate Per $100 / EAV.

    High school districts and unit districts (combined elementary and high school) are not included in the list.

    Fox River Grover District 3 – 5.447

    McHenry District 15 – 5.184

    Harrison District 36 (Wonder Lake) – 4.998

    Prairie Grove District 46 – 4.648

    Crystal Lake District 47 – 4.162

    Nippersink District 2 (Richmond, Spring Grove) – 3.842

    Riley District 18 (Marengo) – 3.745

    Cary District 26 – 3.694

    Marengo Union District 165 – 3.211


    Missing is Alden Hebron District 19.

  19. Don’t look at the employees who are just trying to get a livable wage.

    Look at the Admins spending all the money on remodels year after year.

    Costing you 100s of 1000s of dollars, hiring family/friends for construction jobs, and all the free healthcare admins get yet making 100k+ a year.

    You need to attend BOE meetings and question them.

    They work for you.

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