Friday, May 30, 2014

Update on HCHTA Contract: How Fair Is It, Really? Scant Details Provided By BOE When Compared to Details Provided When the 2011-2014 Contract was Approved.

While we commend Dr. White for promptly emailing the D181 Community a copy of the Joint Press Release issued by the BOE and HCHTA announcing approval of a 2 year HCHTA contract (2014-2016), we are troubled by the lack of meaningful financial data included in the press release.  

What we know from the information provided in the press release is that in Year 1, the contract "includes" an increase to the base salaries of 1.75% and in Year 2 a smaller increase to the base salaries of 1.5%. We also know that there will be an "increased contribution from teachers for family insurance."  The press release goes on to explain that a Compensation Review Committee will be formed that will spend the next two years reviewing the teachers’ salary schedule (sometimes referred to as the STEP ladder), continuing education, health insurance, professional development, retirement and other forms of compensation. 

We were a bit surprised with the brevity of the information provided on the actual terms of the new contract recalling that when the 3 year 2011-2014 HCHTA was approved, the community was provided much more detail.  So we dug into Board Docs and confirmed that last time around there was in fact, more transparency in the flow of information.  Below is the text of the Joint Press Release that was issued on October 24, 2011. 

Text of October 24, 2011 Press Release:

"Joint Release from the Board of Education and HCHTA on Approval of Negotiated Contract
The Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District 181 voted to approve the contract with the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Teachers Association at a the regular business meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011. The members of the HCHTA ratified the agreement on October 20. Both parties have worked diligently through the negotiations and mediation process to settle the teacher contract. The members of the Board wants to emphasize that the dedication and talent of the D181 teachers are important contributors to the success of our district, and we appreciate the willingness of the teachers to approve a contract that will help to ensure the long term financial health of the district.
The highlights of the negotiated contract include:
  • The contract covers three years: 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14. It expires on June 30, 2014.
  • In Year 1, Base salary will remain at the 2010-11 level; no Step increases. Year 1 is a salary freeze.
  • In Year 2, Base salary will remain at 2010-11 level. Step increases will be paid. This will result in an increase of approximately 2.9% to the district budget.
  • In Year 3, Base salary will increase by 90% of the prior year’s property cap CPI with a floor of 1.2% and a ceiling of 2.2%. Step increases will be paid. This will result in an increase of 4.1% to 5.1% to the district budget, depending on the prior year’s Consumer Price Index.
  • In any year in which the base salary (BA Step 1) falls below the top 10% of BA lane starting salaries of elementary school district according to the Illinois State Board of Education, the Board will increase the current base salary for the subsequent school year, at a minimum, to remain within the top 10% BA lane starting salaries of Illinois elementary school districts.
  • Staff will receive pay for 13 hours of professional development as follows: 1.85% of salary for Year 1, 1.85% of salary for Year 2, and 1% of salary for Year 3.
  • Compensation at retirement for unused sick days has been eliminated.
  • Eligible retirees will pay 10% of their TRS PPO single health insurance coverage. The Board will continue to pay 100% of eligible retirees’ TRS HMO single insurance coverage. These benefits area available for up to five years, or until the retiree reaches the age of Medicare eligibility.
  • No change in insurance coverage for active staff (non-retired).
  • No change in retirement incentive pay, which is 6% compounded salary increase for up to four years for eligible staff.
We believe this agreement is fair to the taxpayers of Community Consolidated School District 181 and the teachers. It will maintain our place in the top 10% of elementary districts’ teacher pay in the state." (Click to open Press Release on D181 Website.)
Following the approval of the 2011-2014 contract, the contract went to print after final language clean up and the final printed version was approved on January 23, 2012. (Click to open Final Version of 2011-2014 HCHTA Contract.) At that time, the BOE also provided the community with a detailed analysis of what the financial implications of the contract were. (Click to open Financial Analysis of the 2011-2014 HCHTA Contract.)

Comparing the information we have received on the new 2 year contract with what we were given last time, we are left with the following questions:

1.  Why wasn't more detailed information on the terms of the new contract provided to the community on 5/29/14 just as it was on 10/24/2011?

2.  Are there any STEP increases in the 2 year contract?

3.  Will teachers continue to be compensated for 13 hours of professional development?  Will they be compensated for more or less hours? What will their compensation rate be for professional development hours?

4.  Will there be any changes to the retirement incentive pay, which currently is 6% compounded salary increase for up to 4 years for eligible staff?

5. What is the increased contribution from teachers for family insurance?

6.  Are teachers possibly losing overall compensation over the 2 years when the increased insurance contribution is subtracted from their base increase?

7.  What is the average year-over-year increase for each teacher?  In 2011-2012 it was 0%, in 2012-2013 it was 2.2% (Range of 0.41% to 4.76%) and in 2013-2014 it was 4.3% (Range of 1.57% to 5.79%).

8.  What is the total year-over-year cost for on-schedule staff only?  In 2011-2012 it was $0 (0%), in 2012-2013 it was $691,936 (2.9%) and in 2013-2014 it was $1,008,635 (4.1%).

9.  What is the net year-over-year cost for all staff?  In 2011-2012 it was -$31,363 (-0.1%), in 2012-2013 it was -$651,658 (-2.5%) and in 2013-2014 it was $597,696 (2.3%).

Until the community is provided answers to all these questions, we will not really know what the financial implications are for EITHER the teachers OR the D181 taxpayers.  We will not know if the 2 year contract is FAIR and EQUITABLE for either the teachers or the D181 taxpayers.  

Until we know what percentage salary increase the BOE approved for the Administrators, we will not know if the Administrators have also been asked to participate in the "new economic reality" or the "new educational reality."  We will not know if they are more greatly valued by the BOE than the teachers who are the front line soldiers.  Moreover, will a review of the Administrators' salaries be part of the work to be performed by the new Compensation Review Committee?  It would hardly seem fair to D181's  hard working teachers and taxpayers if the Administrators are not subject to the same review process going forward.

We, therefore, urge the Board of Education OR the HCHTA to release the financial data that answers these basic questions to the D181 tax payers immediately.  And we urge the BOE to immediately release the Administrator Salaries it approved on May 29.


Anonymous said...

It is now 12:34 p.m. and the Consent Agenda approved last night that should list the Administrators' salaries for next year (and possibly specify the % increase compared to this year's salaries) has still not been posted on Board Docs. Why the delay? Typically, the consent agenda is posted promptly the morning after a board meeting once the board approves it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the BOE doesn't want the teachers to see the raises the administrators received? Guess we won't know until the consent agenda gets published. Ridiculous.

Schneider and Benaitis have received excessive raises in the last few years. Taxpayers have yet to see data supporting the L4A social justice plans that they've imposed on our children. Taxpayers have yet to see if Benaitis even knows how to assess student performance data without the "help" of Dr. Russell. In my opinion, they don't deserve any raises for the next year. Same for Frisch who was in charge of buildings and grounds along with the business department. He had responsibility for the very department that should have been more proactive at Millions in taxpayer $'s were spent remediating the mold at HMS. No more tax $'s should be spent giving raises to the central administrators.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with contracts, but back to the changes in math. During the parent math meetings it was stated over and over and over by the administrators (Russell, Benaitis, and Igoe) that in the advanced Glencoe class, students would have to maintain an 80% average in order to remain in the class and that falling below that would be cause for reevaluating placement. It was also stated at the board meeting by Dr Russell that students must maintain 80%. So why in the letter that was given to parents does it state that students must maintain 70%? Was this a typo? Surely it was a mistake. The only time 71% percent was mentioned was when Dawn Benaitis discussed the RIT score of 225 and that statement had nothing to do with a cut-off percentage for the advanced class. Surely this was not a deliberate act. These letters to the 400 4th grade parents were already prepared by Tuesday's board meeting. They went home on Wedensday and they were personalized. Why would the administrators mislead the board and the parents? This could not be a diliberate act, could it?? I do realize that there is an opt-in clause, so students who really don't belong in the advanced class, will be placed in it and will influence the pace of the class. But if students only have to maintain barely a "C" to stay in the class, what will that do to the integrity and quality of the program? The math changes looked very promising during the parent meetings and if you closed your ears during the board meeting and ignored the lies told regarding Learning For All (how the administration never said that the students in the SECURE class had to wait on the other students to catch up before moving on....complete bold faced lie), things seemed to be moving in the right direction. But when the adminstration says something so average of 80% must be maintained in order to stay in the class....and then turns right around, sends out a letter and burries the 70% in there??? SHAMEFUL!!!! And people in this community wonder why nobody trusts the administration. The Board should call them out and hold them accountable.....yeah, yeah, I know...when pigs fly!

The Parents said...

Has anyone called the Department of Learning and asked if the 70% number was just a typo? That would at least just be another careless mistake but it wouldn't be setting our kids up for failure. If anyone had called admin, please let us know.

Anonymous said...

It is now 5:30 pm, the consent agenda was not posted on board docs today, the administration office is now closed for the weekend. Bets are the administrators raises are more than just CPI and more than the teachers. I hope I am wrong but this lack of transparency usually means the BOE and admin are trying to hide something.

Angry Taxpayer said...

It may be that the Board of Education is trying to circumvent posting the salary information by not actually using a consent agenda this time. If you look at board docs and the agenda, the administrator contracts were not listed under a consent agenda rather only as personnel and a separate agenda item called administrator contracts. I think this is the first time that salary increases would not be approved with a consent agenda. However, it doesn't matter. Once the board approves personnel information during a board meeting, past practice has been that it becomes public information and should be posted on board docs the next day. It is absolutely inexcusable that it is now Saturday morning and the salary information has not been made available to D181 taxpayers and teachers. What is the Board of Education trying to hide? If nothing, they should demand that the administration post this information right away.

Anonymous said...

I just listened to the audio tape of the meeting. Nothing substantive was said about the teacher contracts or salaries other than they were being approved quote as presented" with "minor modifications" to be made by Dr. White. What this means is that the Board of Education must have had written documentation specifying the new administrator salaries at the time they voted on them. This information should've been posted on board docs the very next day. The community should not have to wait until final versions of the contracts are typed up and signed by the administrators. In fact, what the board did makes no sense. They already approved one-year contracts for all administrators during the March 24, 2014 school board meeting. All that was left out of these contracts were the salaries. I can understand that they wanted to wait until the teachers' contract was approved to set the administrator salaries, but that did not require approval of contracts that were already previously approved. And even those contracts that were approved on March 24 were approved via a consent agenda. Everyone should look up the March 24 board docs to confirm this. The Administrator salary information has never been treated this way in the past and this is not a good sign for the future if now administrative salaries are hidden from the community under a new procedure.

Anonymous said...

In my last comment I meant administrator contracts, not teacher contracts, in the first sentence.

The Parents said...

The contracts have been posted on board docs. Will do an analysis over the weekend and write a blog post but we've noticed two horrific things already. Benaitis has been given a multi your contract, a $10,416.00 boost for one month from May 31 June 30 While Schneider has been given yet another raise which we believe is greater than CPI, however, he was only given a one-year contract. More to follow. Sound off.

The Parents said...

Also posted is a complete consent agenda showing who received one-year contracts and who received multi year contracts along with their salaries. They do not show what the percentage increases are sowe will have to do the calculations and will post an update in the next few days. But everyone in the community can crunch their own numbers and come to their own conclusions. So can the teachers.

Anonymous said...

I like how the administrators' job descriptions say that they need to be able to "see, talk, hear, stand sit, reach, walk, climb stairs and stoop." No wonder they need Masters degrees with doctorates preferred!

Anonymous said...

I thought Benaitis was promoted last year to fill Russell's job as director of assessment. Her job description is far from this. Why is her position even needed if the district has 2 Asst. Superintendents for the Dept. Of Learning? We are not that big a district to need so many central administrators!

Anonymous said...

Schneiders salary is enormous. In order to justify it they need to eliminate Igoe's position and Schneider should assume those duties. And no more moonlighting while pulling in that salary!

Anonymous said...

There is no need to have Director positions under Asst.Superintendent positions. It is absurd. Save the taxpayers the $250k + paid to Igoe and Benaitis and hire more teachers so we can have smaller class sizes or full day kindergarten. Is there no one really auditing the true need for so many over paid administrators? Time to elect a new board majority that will spend taxpayer $'s wisely! Say NO to Turek, Nelson or Yaeger if any of them dare to run for a second BOR term next Spring!

Anonymous said...

Has the BOE gone mad? How can they possibly justify these raises to two of the most inept administrators d181 has ever had - Schneider and Benaitis? They got way more in their shifty deals than the teachers did, which is beyond disgraceful. I sure hope Dr. White hasn't fallen prey to their charms because he recently said, “We are in a new economic reality and a new education reality.” when he announced the teacher's contract had been settled.
Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

I just read that the high school teachers from d86 are on strike over their contract

The Parents said...

Not quite. Here is a press release from D86 BOE that was emailed to parents today;


Statement attributed to: Hinsdale Township High School District 86 Board of Education President Dr. Richard Skoda

The Hinsdale Township High School District 86 Board of Education learned that the Hinsdale High School Teachers Association (HHSTA) has conducted a vote of its membership authorizing the union to strike. HHSTA is the exclusive bargaining representative of District 86’s 377 teachers.

The vote to authorize a strike is surprisingly premature. In a tactic reminiscent of Karen Lewis and the Chicago Teachers’ Union, Naomi Shepherd, the National Education Association representative of the District 86 teachers, called for the strike vote before the end of the current school year and prior to the expiration date of the current contract between the Board and its teachers. The strike vote occurred the same week as the first mediation session between the Board and the teachers. After only five bargaining sessions, the Board had just recently agreed on May 5 to the HHSTA request to jointly seek the involvement of a third-party mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) based on what the Board perceived as a shared desire to reach an agreement that will serve the best interests of all District 86 stakeholders.

The strike vote would be all the more perplexing because the teachers have yet to modify their initial monetary proposal dated March 5, 2014, requesting salary increases that would add 5.45% to teacher salary costs in the first year for District 86 teachers earning on average $111,000. The Board on the other hand, consistent with its stated goals of seeking a settlement that is fair to the taxpayers and teachers, has long-term sustainability of matching revenues to expenditures, and recognizes the importance of continuing to provide a quality education for our children, on May 27 revised its initial March 5 proposal. Clarifying a concept introduced by the Board on May 2, the Board offered on May 27 salary increases and performance pay that reflect the Consumer Price Index.

It is important to emphasize that the HHSTA’s action does not necessarily mean that a strike will occur. The District 86 teachers may not legally strike prior to the expiration of their current contract on June 30 and not before following certain statutory procedures including notice of their intent to strike.

The Board is taking this HHSTA action very seriously. We are hopeful, however, that the HHSTA will continue to join us in good faith negotiations under the guidance of the federal mediator throughout the summer and that the Board and HHSTA will be able to reach a fair and fiscally responsible agreement without a disruption to the education process this fall.

# # #

Anonymous said...

"[t]actic reminiscent of Karen Lewis and the Chicago Teachers Union..." Really? Teachers were quoted tonight in the Sun Times as saying:
“The issue we are trying to communicate today is not about (contract) negotiations,” said David Lapetino, president of the teachers’ association at South. “It’s the issues that have been going on throughout the school year.”

Union officials handed out a page of teacher concerns, including the School Board passing a zero-tax levy, “attempted teacher reduction during staffing,” and the board “settling a lawsuit brought by a former board member after an appeals court dismissed the suit.”

Sounds like some legitimate concerns to me.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. I was surprised how snarky their BOE statement was. D86 has a very bad BOE too - maybe even worse than ours. Our BOE rubber stamps and wont take any action for fear that it is micro managing, their BOE is the textbook case of too much micro managing. I think next time around we need to pick candidates carefully for both boards and there should be better training.

Anonymous said...

The 86 BOE also just passed a measure allowing the board to review any student record - including medical issues. This is outrageous. The 86 board if FAR WORSE than 181. 181 parents - you may not be at 86 yet but you will be and this current board is highly TOXIC.