District 211 board releases rejected offer to union
Monday's snowstorm postponed the first day of an informational picket by the teachers union of Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211, but the school board released information and a statement online on its most recent contract offer the union has rejected.
That offer for a four-year contract, retroactive to July 1, 2018, would start by increasing the base salaries of all union members by 2 percent for the current school year.
The increase for the remaining three years would be 75 percent of the rolling average of the rate of inflation over the prior 10 years for employees on the contract's salary schedule, and 100 percent of that average for employees who move off the salary schedule after 25 years of experience. This would be in addition to the step increases an employee receives each year while moving along the salary schedule.
Step increases differ depending on where one is on the salary schedule, but average 3.7 percent per year among all employees.
The inflation rates for the past nine years, in reverse chronological order, are 2.1 percent, 2.1 percent, 0.7 percent, 0.8 percent, 1.5 percent, 1.7 percent, 3 percent, 1.5 percent and 2.7 percent.
But John Braglia, president of Northwest Suburban Teachers Union Local 1211, said it's important to the membership that base raises in the new contract reflect current cost-of-living increases. Under the previous contract, annual increases were a fraction of the cost of living, he said. They were 0 percent, 0.2 percent, 0.25 percent and 0.4 percent over the four years.
Until a new contract is approved, the district's 890 teachers, psychologists, social workers and counselors work under the previous contract - including its established step increases.
Under that contract, a new teacher with no prior experience would have started the school year with a base salary of $52,795, according to district officials. The highest base salary is currently $128,648.
The district's median salary - halfway between the lowest and highest paid teachers - is $109,154.
Earning the median salary today represents the equivalent of a master's degree plus 30 additional hours of professional instruction, as well as 15 years of experience, District 211 spokesman Tom Petersen said.
Other disagreements between the board and the union include the amount of tuition reimbursement for additional education.
The district's most recent offer was to reimburse teachers 75 percent of each graduate school credit hour, while the union is seeking 80 percent.
Under the previous contract, licensed staff members received 100 percent tuition reimbursement, according to the board.
In addition to informational pickets from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday outside the district's administration building at 1750 S. Roselle Road in Palatine, the union will host a town hall meeting for the public at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at Palatine High School, 1111 N. Rohlwing Road in Palatine.
The board's most recent offer and statement can be found on the District 211 website at adc.d211.org/.