Former board members: 2012 District 15 contract released faster than 2016
While specifics of the 10-year contract approved by Palatine Township Elementary District 15 and its teachers union are still mostly under wraps, two former board members say District 15 hasn't always been so tight-lipped.
Former board President Tim Millar said when the last contract was approved in 2012, the district made the two-tiered salary schedule public within two days.
"We wanted to share (it) as soon as we could," said Millar, who was a board member from 2005-2013.
It was a couple of weeks more before the board released the full 2012-2016 pact, after some tweaks were made to contract language.
But the salary schedules were solid when both sides signed it, he said.
"If they're not, you've got a problem," Millar added.
He said the new 10-year contract leaves future District 15 boards without much flexibility to react to changing economic conditions.
"It really freezes out future boards from operating correctly," Millar said.
Scott Herr, who was on the board from 2011-2015, said the changes to the 2012 contract from the time it was ratified to when it was released amounted to dotting I's and crossing T's, "with only a few changes that might be considered minor."
He added the changes would not have justified withholding the document.
District 15 released the 2012 salary schedule even though Superintendent Scott Thompson told the Daily Herald at the time there might still be a few details to finalize.
This year, no section of the 2016-2026 contract has been made public. In a "Frequently Asked Questions" on its website, District 15 officials said it would be "irresponsible to share a document that is incomplete and not corrected."
Thompson has said it could take four to eight weeks to clean up the language in the 10-year contract before it is released.
Herr thinks that is too long.
"The public's right to know what the board approved is far greater than the minor risk of 'unnecessary confusion and need for correction,'" he said.
The district's summary of terms of the 2016 contract is on the district website, ccsd15.net, under the April 13 school board agenda.