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Geneva School Board Releases Its Most Recent Contract Offer; Special Meeting Monday

The Geneva District 304 Board of Education has released a document that clarifies all aspects of the offer it put on the table Friday.

The Geneva Board of Education has released details of its most recent offer to the Geneva Education Association.

The "official copy," posted Thursday afternoon in PDF form on the Geneva School District's negotiations webpage, indicates that the School Board and GEA negotiators were "close to an agreement" or "reached tentative agreement" on every issue except salaries, sharing the cost of "release time" for union negotiators and a clause that asks non-union teachers to pay a "fair share" of union dues.

The board characterized these issues as close to resolution or resolved: tuition reimbursement, retirement, health insurance, sick leave, involuntary transfer, progressive discipline, extending the work day, supervisory duty, security cameras and special education.

Also on Thursday afternoon, the board sent notice of a special School Board meeting, which takes place at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at the Coultrap facility.

The limited agenda includes a public comments opportunity prior to adjournment to executive session.

Prior to Thursday afternoon, both sides had summarized the salary deals that were on the table at the end of Friday's 12-hour negotiations session, but the language of the explanations was different in the GEA and the School Board summaries.

Here's the School District's salary offer, as worded in the School Board's most-recent offer:

Salary Schedule

Historically, teachers have been paid according to their placement on the teacher salary schedule. The salary schedule is organized around steps and lanes. Each step represents one year of employment in the District and a salary increase of 2.65%; a lane represents completed graduate coursework and salary increases vary by lane. Salaries increase as a teacher moves a step (down the salary schedule) and/or a lane (across the salary schedule).

2012/2013

 Salary freeze for all teachers except:

  • teachers who qualify for lane advancement based on completed graduate coursework will be permitted to move to the appropriate lane on salary schedule (36 teachers)
  • teachers who have submitted a retirement notice over the past three years but prior to August 15, 2012 (57 teachers)

2013/2014

  • 1.65% added to each cell on the salary schedule; beginning teacher salary increase $39,651 to $40,305; teachers who qualify for lane advancement may move one (1) lane.

2014/2015

  • 2.75% added to each cell on the salary schedule; beginning teacher salary increases $40,305 to $41,413; teachers who qualify for lane advancement may move one (1) lane.

Retirement

Prior to Thursday afternoon, neither side had said much about where the retirement issue stood. The teachers union "Final Offer" posted Oct. 23 had called for three years of 6 percent salary increases prior to retirement.

The board's proposal calls for generous salary increases prior to retirement for the next three years, but a "sunset" of that benefit when the new contract expires in August 2015.

The offer likely would act as an incentive for higher-paid teachers to take retirement before the offer goes away.

Here's the board's Oct. 26 offer, as published:

An eligible teacher submitting a retirement notice by a predetermined date in the 2012/2013 school year and who intends to retire at the end of the 2014/2015 school year will receive the following salary increases:

  • 2012/2013: 6% increase over their prior year’s salary
  • 2013/2014: 3% increase over their prior year’s salary
  • 2014/2015: increase based on the 2013/2014 average teacher salary increase

An eligible teacher submitting a retirement notice by a predetermined date in the 2013/2014 school year and who intends to retire at the end of the 2014/2015 school year will receive the following salary increases:

  • 2013/2014: 6% increase over their prior year’s salary
  • 2014/2015: 3% increase over their prior year’s salary

An eligible teacher submitting a retirement notice by a predetermined date in the 2014/2015 school year and who intends to retire at the end of the 2014/2015 school year will receive the following salary increases:

  • 2014/2015: 6% increase over their prior year’s salary

GEA Release Time

Board Proposal – Oct. 26, 2012:

Currently, release time is provided to the GEA union President during the school day to meet with District administration to discuss issues of common concern, generally represent the interests of the union and engage in any other union activities. Under the Agreement that expired in August, the President of the GEA or designee had daily release time up to 70% of his or her regular work load. Most recently, the GEA has allocated the GEA President 50% release time and the GEA Vice President 20% release time. The GEA does not compensate the District for this release time.

  • 2012/2013: No Change
  • 2013/2014: Reduce release time from .70 to .60 FTE; GEA reimburses the District 25% of the beginning teacher salary rate in place in 2013/2014
  • 2014/2015: Reduce release time from .60 to .50 FTE; GEA reimburses the District 50% of the beginning teacher salary rate in place in 2014/2015

Union Dues (Fair Share) for Non-Union Teachers

Board Proposal – Oct. 26, 2012:

The union is proposing the addition of “fair share” language to the contract. At the present time, Geneva teachers are not required to join the GEA, and the union does not have the ability to assess non-members a “fair share” fee for representing their interests in collective bargaining matters.

The Board is opposed to adding “fair share” language to the contract.

 

Related Articles

 

  • Reports: GEA Members Authorize Strike; Nov. 9 Earliest Possible Strike
  • Geneva Teachers Express Frustration Over Stalled Negotiations
  • UPDATE: Geneva School Board Calls Special Meeting to Discuss Teacher Negotiations
  • Is a Teachers' Strike Possible in Geneva? Green Buttons Show Solidarity on First Day of School
  • Patch Poll: How Much of An Increase Should Geneva Teachers Get?
  • Batavia Teachers Get Raises in New Two-Year Contract; Geneva Still Negotiating
  • Where Do You Stand on the Geneva Teachers' Union Negotiations?
  • Geneva Teachers Expected to Picket Before Tuesday School Board
  • State Teachers Union Announces Geneva Talks at Impasse
  • UPDATE: Geneva Teachers Union Posts Its 'Final Offer'
  • District 304: GEA's 'Final Offer' Calls for 18% Salary Hike in Final 3 Years Before Retirement
  • Teacher Talks Resume Friday; Here's the Timeline If an Agreement Isn't Reached
  • Geneva School Board's 'Final Offer' Made Public
  • Geneva Teachers Give Notice of Intent to Strike
  • School Board: Union's 'Rigid Stance' Kept Parties Apart for Months; GEA Responds
  • Patch Poll: Which Offer Is More Fair to Teachers and Taxpayers?
  • UPDATE—Geneva School Board: GEA Filed Intent to Strike While Sitting at Negotiations Table
  • Geneva School District Outlines Plans in Case of Teacher's Strike
  • GEA Posts Open Letter to Geneva Citizens

 

 

Want to stay up to date on the negotiations issue?

Dan November 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM
The state is insolvent, Hence there is a push to shift teacher pension cost onto municipalities that will increase property taxes in a big big way including eating away at any school reserves. All of this plays into the current district negotiations with the teachers union. Not only will the cost of any new negotiated salary and benifit increases be bore by the parent and taxpayer, but so wil the pension movement cost to the district. All of this as stated will impact property taxes and school fees in a big big way. With this in mind is the school board's negotiating team acting in the best interest of the parents, kids and taxpayers or is the teacher's union negotiating team acting in the best interest of the parents, kids and the taxpayers. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-13/news/chi-illinois-senate-president-no-vote-on-pension-reform-until-january-20120913_1_pension-reform-cost-shift-pension-costs http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-08-29/s-and-p-lowers-illinois-credit-rating-over-pensions
Lisa P November 02, 2012 at 06:22 PM
@Dan, Good article and a great model for our district.
Max November 02, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I believe the BoE can take any position it feels will get the job done. If it wants to declare negotiations finished and lock-out the teachers, it can do that. There are tough calls yet to be made on both sides. The community seems solidly, and uncharacteristically, behind the BoE's position of not giving in to the State-level union's bomb-throwers who are pushing GEA to lengths its members would rather not go. Most of the local teachers are holding their breath and hoping it will somehow end without a strike and the resulting animosity which inevitably attends such things in a tight-knit community like ours. It's too bad that GEA teachers are willing to risk being unable to look their neighbors in the eye tomorrow, rather than choosing to stand up to their union leadership today.
Anthony November 02, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Can I come to substitute for a day in District 304 and ask for a retirement spike? Being retired, no one offered me "spikes to retire". I'll get 1.7% SS raise to be partially eaten up by rise in Medicare. But it is totally gone with the "projected" or is it guaranteed increase in my real estate taxes next year. As my real estate taxes rise my home value decreases so the argument for a better salaries for teachers to attract higher home values is a kin to the Bush tax cuts creating more jobs. Stop giving our tax money away. The fact we were over taxed for years resulted in this attitude of entitlement due to the excessive reserve balance. Abate the balance now and reduce our debt load.
pumpkin November 05, 2012 at 04:54 PM
After reviewing the BOE's final offer, can anyone explain just what "1.65% added to each cell on the salary schedule" means? What exactly is a cell on the salary schedule?

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