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Burr Ridge Teachers Union Files Strike Notice

The teachers of District 180 have been without a contract since September and attempts at mediation have been unsuccessful so far.

The teachers union have filed a strike notice against the district. This latest turn of events took place on March 16 after the teachers and school district were unable to reach an agreement during a third attempt at mediation on March 7.

Lynn Moynihan, union president of the Teachers Organization of Palisades said the district's representation presented teachers with two offers the evening of March 7, which previously had been rejected.

"We had presented four different proposals [to the board,] none of which the board worked off of," said Moynihan during Monday night's school board meeting.

The teachers have been working without a contract since last September.

Two sticking points in the negotiations are the percentage of salary increase and the length of the school day for teachers at .

The teachers are asking for an increase between 4 and 6 percent for each of the next four years (depending on inflation,) while the district is offering a 2.5 percent increase for each of the next four years, with a 10 percent bump in what the district is currently paying for single coverage health insurance.

"The board’s offer is tied to the Consumer Price Index, which sets the district’s levy and property taxes. We guarantee at 2 ½ percent, but if the CPI is up to 3.75 then that would become the additional raise," said Superintendent Tom Schneider.

Schneider pointed out that the district is anticipating a deficit of $800,000 in the budget, due in part to the possibility that Impact Aid to the district will be eliminated. He said this is influencing how much the board can negotiate.

The President's budget for Fiscal Year 2013 has eliminated Impact Aid funds, which amounts to $400,000 for District 180. The district has been asking residents to contact Judy Biggert and other legislators to convince congress to keep funding Impact Aid.

Impact Aid is a national program that helps school districts that have within their boundaries large parcels of land that are owned by the federal government and thus, do not pay taxes to the school district. District 180 was receiving Impact Aid for Argonne National Labs.

The teachers said they had made a proposal taking into account the fact that Impact Aid funds might be cut, and that the board's offer is still low for DuPage County, especially under the new contract.

"We are being asked to work additional time with this new contract," said Kristen Drain, TOP vice president and a kindergarten teacher at Anne M. Jeans, referring to an extra 20 minutes that would be added onto the school day of the elementary school.

Schneider said that the 20 minutes would equalize the workday for both schools and improve student achievement.

"Charter schools are able to show amazing growth with their students because they can expand the amount of time students receive instruction," said Schneider.

Char Wenc, a former school board member and current faculty member of the district asked what the base salary was for teachers in comparable districts.

"In relationship to districts that our similar to ours, they are fairly paid," said Paula Dupont, board president, who said the board surveyed all schools within a five-mile radius to determine a fair salary offer. "We don’t feel [District 180] is comparable to and . We're much more [socioeconomically] similar five miles in the other direction ... We're not downtown Hinsdale."

The next mediation session between representatives of the district and teachers union is scheduled for April 26, which Moynihan said is unacceptable. Moynihan said that if the school board does not move the date up, the next step would be for both sides to submit their final offers and for the teachers to go on strike.

According to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, a strike can not happen until two weeks after both sides have presented final offers.

Dupont said the school board already had presented its best offer.

"We think we have a very fair offer on the table that works with monies we know we can commit to, that won’t take away from the current programs that we have and the staffing levels that we have. Promising anything more puts those things at risk," said Dupont.

Bailey March 30, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Championnews.net is not the only site where salaries are posted. I don't see anything right wing about posting facts. The fact that any teacher earns over $100,000 is sobering. It is a SEASONAL position with hefty benefits. Would anyone be willing to post the current contract so we can all make a more informed opinion? I am an employer- the contribution to Soc.l Sec. is 12.4% and that's more than 9.4. 6.2 comes out of employee checks, but my match of 6.2 and that determines salary. All other taxes and insurance are deducted. That is not a teacher phenomenom. I have hard working dedicated people that don't whine about putting in extra time. They never take a real vacation, taking their laptops to check email daily. They are very well educated, accountable, work 12 months, 8 hours a day (9 w/lunch), and have VERY complex problems .They travel, entertain , take classes , work through their lunch hours, etc. Not one of them earns over $70.000 and most of them far less. They do whatever it takes to get the job done- and to keep their job. What does a soldier in Afghanistan earn? How does that compare? I have nothing against teachers, but how fair is their salary - how much do they earn per hour? In my experience, teachers don't consider that- they look at what they make "per year", not considering that don't work all year.. Again let's see the contract. We'll do the math.
John Sullivan March 30, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Hi Jay. Sorry for the misconceptions. I've stated in other places that there are teachers who work 60 hours per week - and for the same pay as the teachers who work 30 hours per week. All contracts are different, but "typically" a teacher has five classes, one study period, one free period, and one lunch period for a 7-8 hour day. Same re health insurance. I know one district where a teacher pays $300/month for a family plan that would cost about $25,000 per year. I know another district where the teachers pay 100% of their health insurance but they get a stipend of $8000 per year. If they have single coverage, they come out pretty much even. If they have family coverage, it's going to cost them over $1000 per month. If they are on their spouse's plan, they just keep the $8000. As far as calculations, I believe they will be forthcoming in future posts, but they are simple enough and certainly no secret. I'm willing to step into a teacher's shoes, but I wouldn't look good in all the hats.
Susann DuBoff March 31, 2012 at 06:28 AM
People, people, people and Kevin-no need to fight-let’s assume for argument’s sake the educators are underpaid, overworked, stressed-out, under-supplied, punily pensioned and lacking adequate medical care; it's not their fault; it is that of their union’s poor representation, the union has failed to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to protect and enhance their members interests. Let us also assume the taxpayer sympathetically and wholeheartedly agrees with the plight of the educator whose year-round eight (8) month work schedule remunerations are meager in contrast to the private sector. Unfortunately, the taxpayer does not have the funds to bring the educators out from this suffocating pit of financial despair. So, let us think, and then let us pray, and then……, your turn….
John Sullivan March 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM
I think this is a good point to remind ourselves that the median income in this country is $33,000 per year with about 25% on a dollar in benefits and no pension for a 12-month year and little expectation of any raise beyond cost-of-living. Annualized total compensation for a $40,000 per year teacher, including benefits and pension, is over $130,000 per year and increases at about 6% per year in salary and benefits and over 10% including pension. A 22-year-old beginning teacher who starts at $40,000 needs for someone to contribute $47,000 per year for 38 years to fund his projected pension if that money grows at 5% per year. The numbers are the numbers - and the numbers say that if total compensation for teachers was cut in half, not a single teacher would quit because they would still be making more than they would in the private sector - the sector, by the way, that pays 100% of their compensation. The sector, by the way, in which half of the workers think the person making $33,000 is rich.
Kevin March 31, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Mr. Sullivan has found his scapegoat for the state of the economy...those who work for our government, specifically those who have taken on the honorable career of educating our youth. He has lumped those good, hardworking teachers with the small number of those who attempt to skate through the career as an "easy job." What Mr. Sullivan fails to recognize is that in this "easy career", 46% of teachers quit the profession in the first five years. For what reasons? Pay, lack of autonomy in their classrooms, and comments such as his about their profession. But I prefer to put the blame on the people who really put us in the position we are in...those wonderful people at places like Enron and Arthur Anderson; those multibillion dollar profit companies who "create jobs"...or have they been? And yes, the government...those on both sides of the aisle. The Democrats for creating loopholes for their cronies to take advantage of the pension system, and the Republicans for giving away tax breaks like they are candy on Halloween. There is no reason to continue this conversation. So Mr. Sullivan, I bid you adeiu and wish you well in your misery. I sure hope that your children's teachers have read these attacks on their fine profession and don't take them as the personal attacks as they are.
Susann DuBoff March 31, 2012 at 01:52 PM
OH NO, NO-please, Kevin, come back, you forgot to leave us with your sage solution.
John Sullivan March 31, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Kevin, you make a point. If the smart, independent, ambitious people leave the teaching profession, it is no wonder that education is in such decline. All that would be left would be a few good teachers and a bunch of union hacks. Anyway, I appreciate your "adeiu" and bid you "adieu".
Kevin March 31, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Susann, the solution is created by negotiations and compromise. Our nation is based on it. We seem to have forgotten that our country was created by compromise. We now have the right saying "we are right and this is the way things are going to be." We have the left saying "we are right and this is the way things are going to be." The Tea Party and Fox News is controlling the Republican party and the socialists and Bill Maher-types are controlling the Democratic party. Where are the mainstream Republicans and Democrats? They are being snuffed out by the extreme wings of their party. I don't have a solution to this issue. Neither do you. Nobody does. The solution comes from NEGOTIATION. But of course, people like you and John Sullivan would never agree to that.
Kevin March 31, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Any by pointing out a typo, you have just proven everything I thought about you, Sir. When does your attack on the "union hack" police and firemen begin? I can't wait to read those. Be sure not to post your address when you attack them. I sure would hate to see them get lost when you call for their services.
Kevin March 31, 2012 at 02:25 PM
No one person as the solution Susann. If you think that I believe I have a solution, then you are giving me way too much credit. Solutions for problems like this can only come from negotiations and compromise. You remember those don't you? Or are those considered to be too 18th and 19th Century for the Fox News/Bill Maher generation?
Kevin March 31, 2012 at 02:26 PM
TRUTHS ABOUT THE ILLINOIS TEACHER PENSION SYSTEM Dick Ingram: Some truths about state pensions Throughout Illinois, public pension systems have been a central topic of discussion for months as state government grapples with an uncertain economy. State legislators and organized labor continue to discuss the future of these pension systems as well as their anticipated costs to both taxpayers and members of the pension plans (who also are taxpayers). This discussion is vitally important for the state’s future fiscal health and will be most useful if based on facts and not hyperbole. Here are some truths to remember: Illinois’ pension systems are not bankrupt. It is true that the state’s pension systems together have accumulated a total debt of $140 billion, but currently only have $53 billion in assets. That leaves the systems with an unfunded liability of $87 billion. However, that total pension debt never has to be paid off at one point in time. It is composed of money owed to retired workers as well as active public employees at some time in the future. Because public employees cannot collect until they retire, the only amount that the systems must pay each year is the amount owed to retirees.
Kevin March 31, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Illinois’ pension systems will not run out of money and default in 10 or 15 years. The best example is Teachers’ Retirement System, the state’s largest public pension plan with more than 372,000 members. In fiscal year 2010, TRS paid out $3.9 billion in pensions and benefits. Total revenues in the same year, from teachers, school districts, state government and investments, totaled $6.8 billion. TRS currently has $37 billion in assets. With a 30-year average investment rate of return of more than 9 percent, TRS continues to exceed its long-term investment targets. These returns, along with continued member and state contributions ensure that TRS will have enough money to meet our annual obligations for decades. TRS has carried an unfunded liability since at least 1953 and has never missed a pension check. Pension benefits locked in place by the Illinois Constitution are not the main reason the systems carry unfunded liabilities. TRS members do not participate in Social Security and their average benefit is relatively modest. They pay more than half of the cost of these benefits, and the current cost of these benefits to the state pale in comparison to the amount of money state government has failed to contribute to the pension systems — and that comprises more than two-thirds of the money budgeted for pensions. .
Kevin March 31, 2012 at 02:28 PM
In the case of TRS, since 1970 the state has left unpaid more than $14 billion of current pension costs. This is the main reason for the system’s unfunded liability. Under actuarial “full funding” standards, the state should have contributed $33.2 billion to TRS between 1970 and 2010. Instead, TRS received only $18.6 billion. The annual cost of pensions is not bankrupting state government but helping the Illinois economy. In fiscal year 2010, the total state budget was $56.9 billion. Of that, all social service programs cost $17.5 billion. Medicaid services alone cost $9.8 billion. Public education — from kindergarten through university — cost $13.7 billion. Salaries for state employees — who carry out all the functions of government — total $3.6 billion. By comparison, all pension benefits paid out to retirees in the same year totaled $6.9 billion. The state’s contribution to fund these benefits was $4 billion. Pension benefits paid to retired public employees are a return on an investment. Each dollar is recycled through the economy as retirees spend money exactly as they did when they were receiving a salary. Combined, state government salaries and state-administered pensions during 2010 translated into a $24.5 billion economic stimulus for the state of Illinois.
John Sullivan March 31, 2012 at 02:30 PM
King George compromised? The South compromised? Hitler compromised? We negotiated over the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Wow! At least one of us must have been educated in a Chicago public school!
John Sullivan March 31, 2012 at 02:39 PM
This liability is based upon an 8% growth assumption. The TRS has only made 4% over the past ten years. Any pension fund that makes over 5% is taking on too much risk. At a 5% assumption, with the compounding effect, the unfunded liability is 2-3 times as high as asserted. Also, the fund must gain, after payments, at least the inflation rate because state pensions go up 3% per year. Mr. Ingram has given us some "falsehoods" to remember.
John Sullivan March 31, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Over the past ten years, the taxpayers have contributed over $18 billion to the TRS while the teacher contributions have been $8.7 billion and about half of the teacher contributions are reimbursed to the teacher by the school districts (taxpayers). I think the fundamental problem is that the pensions are determined on the local level and the the teachers whine that the state must pay for them. The state taxpayer does not give a $300,000 pension to a superintendant, but is supposed to come up with the money.
John Sullivan March 31, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Apples and oranges. There are known and identifiable job stressors that can be applied to any occupation. Policemen and firemen have many of them - some to the extreme, while teachers have virtually none. Difficult children? Please! Policemen have to deal with them as adults, after they have acquired a drug habit and a really big gun.
Susann DuBoff March 31, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Kev-so many selfish, uncompromising, non-negotiating taxpayers, wanting to do more of their own recycling.
John Sullivan March 31, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Another point to remember is that the pension liability is what has been earned as of this year. Every year, the liability increases by what has been earned by another year of service. Taxpayers should be asking for a pension accounting by an independent agency so all of us can get the true picture.
John Sullivan March 31, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Also, "average benefit" is another deception because it includes pensions for short-time, part-time, and those retired decades ago on reasonable pensions. Pensions of $600 per year go into the "average benefit". This number has no meaning as applied to the pensions beginning today for full-time teachers.
John Sullivan March 31, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Kevin, let's say that Dick Ingram, Public Relations Director for the TRS, is correct and these pensions are "reasonable". Can we participate? If I plop down $100,000 at age 60, can I collect $75,000 per year for life with a 3% raise every year? I won't collect Social Security and get all my contributions back. On the day that I pay the $100,000, that pension has a NPV of about $1,400,000. Will you kick in the $1,300,000 today?
Kevin March 31, 2012 at 05:39 PM
There you go! Go right to Hitler! Go right to King George who was nuttier than a fruitcake! You see what happened when the South refused to compromise? I give you a suggestion and you find me the extremes. Fine. Here is what you want to hear. You are right. Teachers are overpaid leeches on society. We should just close all of our public schools and let parents home school. Or pay teachers in privately run schools what we all know they are worth, about 20,000 dollars. They should get no retirement benefits. Those leeches don't even deserve social security.Let them work until they are in their 80s like the rest of society. Wow! I can't believe that it took me this long to see the light! Thank you Mr. Sullivan! Thank you for helping me to see the errors of my way! You are truly an inspiration to us all and should be nominated for a Presidential award for all you have done for America and its youth!
John Sullivan April 02, 2012 at 01:24 PM
If this makes sense, then it would make more sense to give everyone a pension. You are missing the part about the "paying for it" that is stifling the economy. Besides, many pensioners have their checks sent to Florida where they stimulate that economy. They drain Illinois and feed Florida.
Susann DuBoff April 02, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Kevin-I hope you will read this newspaper report-link shown below-the amount you pay, according to your Real Estate tax bill, is only about $70.00-so, this will, fortunately for you, have little impact on your finances-likely, a more major impact on others. But, if you have a suggested compromise, it would help me. http://triblocal.com/orland-park/2012/03/23/d135-and-d230-take-the-initiative-in-state-pension-debate/
Bailey April 02, 2012 at 05:15 PM
For those of you that would like to form an opinion about whether or this particular group of teachers are underpaid, please visit www.ccsd180.org. If you would like to review the most recent contract for 2008-2011: http://www.ccsd180.org/pages/uploaded_files/CBA%202008-2011.pdf--- this is also on the website. This outlines salary structure, benefits, pension provisions and number of workdays, etc. You will see that a first year teacher with a BA started at over $40,300 and is expected to work approx. 180 days, each with 45 min. of break time and 3 "unassigned" hours per day. Since this 180 days is approx. 70% of the days non seasonal people work, this is $40,300 is equivalent to over $52,400per year- plus hefty benefits. The new contract will be increased substantially. I was aghast to read that the union proposes that part of the salary be paid by Impact Aid funds- typically used for educational program like fine arts and perorming arts. How does that compare to your full time job?
Steve Miller April 06, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Sue, I believe you are a bit misguided. The salaries listed above are for the high school and this article is regarding SD180. Are you intentionally being deceptive or were you confused about which school district the article was discussing. I did go to the champion website as you suggested, and here are the actual salaries of SD180...not quite the same as the ones you've listed previously.
Steve Miller April 06, 2012 at 01:08 PM
CCSD 180 2011 - Barkstrom, Katherine $50,334 Bazon, Christine $54,107 Biersborn, Dawn $61,819 Brann, Diana $82,299 Burlingame, Danica $46,399 Carr, Jennifer $52,166 Clausen, Cinthia $86,065 Collins, Carol $98,331 Collins, Kelly $50,606 Crafton, David $70,752 Cushing, Julia $43,625 Dabrowski, Julianne $42,995 Delay-Panatera, Deborah $81,765 Drain, Kristen $43,252 Dudzinski, Janet $56,005 Elder, Jennifer $63,493 Evans, Karen $53,046 Few, Courtney $34,931 France, Rick $52,641 Frisby, Francine $59,826 Hernandez, Victor $47,892 Hickman, Megan $61,874 Jaczak, Daniel $53,273 Kinsman, Mary $83,504 Klass, Janet $48,464 Kotansky, Dyann $62,275 LaCassa, Michael $56,622 Lebedevs, Lara $48,973 LeBlanc, Debra $165,351 Licko, Mary $64,608 Lopresti, Alana $41,342 Madarang, Julie $98,262 Malatia, Dawn $52,406 Mandelka, Christine $62,019 Mc Carthy, Brandy $54,639 McVady, Ann $54,482 Minger, Michelle $58,624 Moynihan, Lynn $59,220 Pekara, Alisha $58,573 Pickens, Tenika $68,752 Potempa, Tracey $54,170 Pry, Tamara $90,363 Radtke, Meghan $65,233 Reinhart, Scott $68,453 Reynolds, Beth $55,966 Ritchey, Tracy $62,198 Rogers, Jennifer $60,649 Rossi, Sharon $57,405 Roth, Rene $57,232 Rowe, Jacqueline $59,165
Steve Miller April 06, 2012 at 01:10 PM
And let's not forget about the rest of these "overpaid" folks...this is the rest of SD180's salary list. Ryan, Melissa $58,911 Sarmiento, Maria $53,507 Schlemmer, Janet $66,573 Schneider, Thomas $164,001 Sea, Andrew $26,057 Smith, Catherine $102,544 Struthers, Sarah $49,535 Taylor, Beverly $93,638 Thanos, Steve $48,268 Tumpane, Candace $80,950 Van Howe, Holly $70,645 Vlk, Patricia $87,466 Wass, Jamie $61,599 Weil, Elaine $51,202 Wormley, Susan $64,949 Wright, Penelope $66,577 Yates, Tammy $71,263 Zavisin, Amy $75,721
Sue Sullivan April 06, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Steve, It appears you misunderstood my post. It states that I was providing an EXAMPLE and noted the school district that it represented and only a partial list. That can hardly be construed as "deceptive". I invited anyone to make their own search. I think the taxpayers in ALL districts are interested in this information. Therefore, I made a random choice. Thank you for posting the ones for 180 though- surely that will spark some conversation.
John Sullivan April 07, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Steve, let's look at a teacher at SD 180 who makes $60,000. Whatever the base raises, teacher compensation increases about 6% per year because they can get raises in 3-4 different ways. With health insurance, dental, prescription, eyeglasses, disability, life insurance, 12-15 paid sick days, 2-4 paid personal days, etc, benefits are about fifty cents on a dollar, making compensation $90,000 for 8 months work. At an annual rate, this is $135,000. If the teacher started at $40,000, this is at 7 years of employment. In 31 years, that teacher will get a pension of $273,964 with a 3% raise every year. To fund this pension, someone has to put in about $50,000 every year for 38 years. Let's say the teacher puts in $5,000. So, total compensation on an annual basis is $180,000. Median income in this country is $33,000 overall and lets guess $40,000 for a college graduate with about .25 in benefits per dollar in salary and virtually nothing towards retirement. He pays into Social Security with after-tax dollars while the teacher pension contributions are deductible - and gets about an eighth of the result. That teacher makes at least three times his counterpart in the private sector and the multiple increases as time goes on. At retirement age (58 average for teachers), the teacher will make six times his counterpart in the private sector. But it's okay - they make up for this by turning out a worse product every year!

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