Crystal Lake High School District 155 Teachers Get Raise of about 12% over Three Years

A Friend of McHenry County Blog, John Pletz, provides the following information about the Crystal Lake High School Board’s teachers’ contract action last night:

4 to 2, teachers win 12% over 3 year

Crystal Lake High School District 155 Board

“2019 through 2022 agreement between the board of education and the education association.”

The agenda called it the “Approval of Professional Negotiation Agreement”

Rosemary [Kurtz]made a motion to delay the vote on the contract for one month.

It died for a lack of a second.

Superintendent [Steve] Olson did a highlighted overview reading of the agreement.

  • 3.87% the first year
  • 3.86%, the second year and
  • 3.87% the 3rd year.

So, when compounded over 3 years it would be a total of 12%.

This would include salaries and benefits.

The last few years of spiking will be held at only 3% per year till their unrevokeable retirement occurs.

The union fair share dues were removed from the contract per law.

When Jason [Blake] read the legal language and then he corrected himself to, “The 2019-2022 agreement between the board of education and the education association.”

[Dave] Secrest asked him to read the name again and he read the same, “The 2019-2022 agreement between the board of education and the education association.”

Dave [Secrest] said that was what if has always been called the “professional agreement” [Board YouTube Channel at 2:42:00.]

He said he did this because of a few public comment speakers brought up that it was not clear that it was the teachers’ contract by wording it as “Approval of Professional Negotiation Agreement.”

Jake [Justen, a candidate for the school board] said it was using euphemistic words, not clearly understandable as what it was.

I also said it was not clear and I was going to ask what it was at the original meeting on Tuesday and suggested the make it more understandable by adding teacher contract or something, rather than “Professional Negotiation Agreement.”

Even the Northwest Herald read that before the meeting and didn’t see it as a bargaining contract.

So, the Herald called D 155 for clarification and yes, it was the teacher’s contract.

Scott Coffey, the School District 26’s Board President was the first one to catch it as the union teacher’s contract, otherwise, it would have slipped through with no public notice.

Scott Coffey is also running for a D 155 Board seat.

He helped turn D 26 around and saved it from being taken over by the state because of poor fiscal management.

These negotiations were ongoing, behind closed doors, for 6 months.

No public notice at all.

The contract was ratified by the teachers on Friday, January 18th, which would have been voted on by the board on Tuesday the 22nd.

The 22nd meeting was postponed till Thursday the 24th of January 2019.

The public, taxpayers, never knew about the contract negotiations, never got a chance to hear them and didn’t know what it was like until it was read tonight minutes before the board’s vote.

Before she voted, Rosemary recites the oath of office she took:

“I shall respect the taxpayer’s interests by serving as a faithful protector of the school district assets”

and so I am voting no.

Ron Ludwig; no; Nicole Pavoris, yes; Adam Guss, yes; Jason Blake, yes; Dave Secrest, yes.

Amy Blazier was absent.

When the reading was done by Adam Guss, he called it, “The 2019-2022 Agreement between the board of education and the education association.”

Many of the public comment speakers also mentioned the conflict of interest the board has.

One called a number of board members to abstain from the vote on this agreement.

For clarification, all 7 board members have teacher connections.

One retired teacher, 2 have wives who teach, one teacher board member has two children in D 155, one board member has a child on the payroll, and one has a relationship through a marriage connection. Her connection has long ago retired and has become the most respected patriarch in our community.


Crystal Lake High School District 155 Teachers Get Raise of about 12% over Three Years — 12 Comments

  1. I bet the taxpayers will be so happy.

    How many days a year do teachers actually show up for work?

  2. Someone made a statement the other day along the lines of: If I pay $250,000 for a Prius does that mean I bought a Porsche?

    Higher pay simply means paying more for an already inferior product (no insult to the Prius).

    Please explain to a member of the tax paying class why I should pay more money to a member of a public sector profession which produces a product that requires ‘remediation’ to attend a Community College.

    For the Class Year of 2016, 45.7 percent of the students at Community Colleges were enrolled in ‘remediation’ classes in Illinois.

    If you bought a car and had to take it to the dealer to be ‘remediated’ to make it usable, would you be willing to pay more?

    I understand remediation classes are an extra charge to the students.

    If not, then why do we accept such poor performance from our teachers but keep paying them more?

    BTW remember that every time a teacher gets a wage increase, their students will be paying the price.

    So much for wanting a better life for the children.

    Oh, I forgot, teachers go on strike for the children!

    Yes, for them to pay and pay and pay.

    BTW anyone on this blog running for a seat on a school board?

  3. By what percent amount will homeowners’ real estate tax bills in District 155 rise in the first, second and third year of the teachers’ contract. What about senior homeowners in the District. Will their Social Security checks rise by at least 12 percent over the next 3 years to pay for the teachers, administrators in the District not to mention the rising cost of medical and other needs of a senior?

  4. School boards, teachers, and of course politicians, will always default to the same rallying cry:


  5. The can’t count or make change population will soon be the teachers, too!

  6. Seniors need to be given a much more meaningful real estate tax break.

    The one they get now is a token.

    Also, has anyone broken down how much of the tax dollars go into subsidizing school sports teams, equipment and facilities?

    How is football part of education?

  7. Forgot who said and too lazy to google credit but:

    “Football has the same relationship to Education as Bullfighting does to Agriculture”.

    Quite right sir, quite right.

  8. 182 teacher attendance days for new teachers.

    180 teacher attendance days for all other teachers.


    The following perk days ultimately reduce the 182 and 180 work days either in the current year (by taking the sick or personal day), or at retirement (when the perk days are either cashed out or exchanged for years of service credit).

    – 14 sick days without loss of pay which can used, rolled over, or given to the CHSD 155 sick bank.

    – 3 days personal pay without loss of pay (no reason for such leave need to be given).

    Unused personal days accumulate as sick days.


    Sick Days

    Public school teachers in Illinois can accumulate up to 340 sick days per state law.

    Then at retirement unused sick days can be exchanged for either cash or years of service credit.

    Years of service credit can in turn be exchanged for years worked to retire earlier.



    CHSD 155 2016 – 2019 cba (on the district website and the new cba may change some of this)

    pdf page 6 (Article II – Normal Teaching Load)

    pdf page 13 (Article XI A – Sick Leave).

    pdf page 15 (Article XI E – Personal Leave).

    The cba includes various other types of unpaid leave.

    The state laws about TRS sick day rules are found in the TRS section of the Illinois Pension Code.


    As a side note, each public school district in Illinois negotiates with the union during collective bargaining the number of annual teacher sick days and any personal days.

    Administrator sick days and perks are negotiated separately in administrator contracts.


    The number of periods per day a teacher is required to teach is also outlined in the cba.


    A major transparency blow to taxpayers is CHSD does not post a cba change (redline) document on its website.

    It has to be obtained via submitting a FOIA request.

    In a lot of school districts, it seems the board is never given a cba change (redline) document either.

    What is a cba change (redline) document?

    It identifies the exact changes from the previous cba to its successor agreement.

    Typically, underline text for additions, stricken text for deletions, with the changes highlighted in red.

    It is very telling that school districts and all units of government do not post the cba change documents on their websites.

    For the most part, they don’t want to scrutiny that would result.

    They don’t want the transparency.

  9. Extremist brings up a good question about funding sports in high schools. What is total cost per year for each high school. Most would agree that daily gym classes are necessary along with intramural sports for all students. But, should lavish sports programs such as for football be funded by taxpayers? Why not make programs for football, baseball, soccer, golf, basketball be funded by the parents whose students partake in these?

  10. Ms. Kurtz is the only responsible, sensible member on that board.

    The others benefit from the teachers contract in one way or another with their associations through marriage, family etc.

    D155 taxpayers already pay the teachers extremely well for their services and even add extra money if they take on a club, activity or sport not to mention all their benefits.

    Administrators get paid ridiculously well too.

    With school enrollment down, that makes for smaller class sizes and less students for teachers.

    So now we will pay them more for less work?

    My husband gets a raise maybe once every four years if he’s lucky.

    How on earth does this board think taxpayers will pay these increases?

  11. **Will their Social Security checks rise by at least 12 percent over the next 3 years to pay for the teachers, **

    bred, thank you for demonstrating that you don’t don’t understand how property taxes work.

    **Why not make programs for football, baseball, soccer, golf, basketball be funded by the parents whose students partake in these?**

    Cool… so only those families that have disposable income should be able to have their kids play school sports.

    **How is football part of education?**

    Team sports and all of the other extra curricular activities are a huge part of educational opportunities and learning. I would be livid if D155 got rid of these, or if we had a fee structure in place that made it much more difficult for lower income families to participate.

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