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D219 Teachers Get New Contract, Students To Start School Earlier

The Niles Township Federation of Teachers and the Niles Township Support Staff approved a new collective bargaining agreement on Sept. 24. Changes include: A possible new school start date, salary increases and new teacher evaluations, among other thing

Teachers at District 219 will receive a salary increase of 1.2 percent as well as significant concessions on insurance and pensions, the district said on Tuesday.

Patch reported earlier that the average teacher salary at D219 in 2010 was $97,000. According to those numbers, the average salary increase for each teacher should be around $1,164, plus increases for each of the three years of the contract.

Meanwhile, employee contributions toward insurance and benefit plans was increased. D219 Board President Robert Silverman said the savings in the "plans alone will result in $1.8 million in savings over the contract period."

In July, the board increased the budget by $11,403,600 - or about 7.31 percent - bringing the final number to $156 million. Those numbers might have changed after the recent collective bargaining agreement, however. D219 comprises Niles West and Niles North high schools and includes students from Skokie, Niles, Morton Grove and Lincolnwood. According to recent figures, property taxes make up 88 percent of the district's revenue.

Also in July, Patch reported that some homeowner's property tax bill jumped up by as much as 13 percent.

"What's going on is a massive shift in our equalized assessed valuation from industrial to residential," Silverman said in July.

That means while the district is not collecting much more than before, a much bigger share is coming from homeowners. In January of this year, the school board hired a law firm to fight owners seeking a property tax reduction.

New school days adopted -

D219 on Monday also approved "the right to adopt a new school day schedule." The district has suggested in the past that school start in the second week of August - about two weeks earlier than before - and end on Memorial Day.

Some expressed concern that the district did not take into consideration parents with students in feeder schools or the local park districts, which have programs running at different dates.

One parent sent a letter to Patch explaining the issues with the adoption of a new school start date.

New teacher evaluations

Teacher evaluations were also changed. According to Superintendent Naciann Gatta, the following changes will now take place:

  • Teacher evaluations will be tied to student achievement and outcomes.
  • Priority will be given to performance, rather than seniority, in determining teacher assignments.
  • The district will develop a system to compensate excellent performance by coaches and activity sponsors with merit pay.
Earl Weiss September 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM
"Meanwhile, employee contributions toward insurance and benefit plans was increased" Need more info. It defies logic that certain employees salaries are in effect partialy a "Blank Check" to cover whatever their costs (Health Insurance) may happen to be in the future. Not enough info to see if this is happening here. Fiscaly sound management needs to have certainty about their costs. Any benefits should be capped at a % of salary. If the employess costs go up; be it gasoline, utilities, food, etc. that should be the employees obligation, not the employers. Health insurance should be no different. This issue is by no means limited to 219.
Lisa Litberg September 26, 2012 at 01:32 PM
It means that our cost for insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, ER visits, and prescription medicine all increased. It has nothing to do with employee costs for gasoline, utilities, food, etc. The costs are stated in the new contract.
RJG September 26, 2012 at 03:16 PM
A few things: The SCHOOL DAY has nothing to do with the SCHOOL YEAR. The latter is not discussed in negotiations and the Board has not announced a decision on it yet, nor has it announced a new school day. Much of the contractual changes regarding TEACHER EVALUATIONS were made in order to comply with Illinois law, which states that student data must comprise a significant percentage of a teacher's evaluation. And in response to Mr. Weiss, health insurance will now be figured by % instead of flat rate.
James Iverson September 26, 2012 at 04:15 PM
To Lisa's point, every company provided health insurance plan I have seen involves benefits that include deductables and copays and premiums that are paid partially by the employer and partially by the employee. Increasing the employees' share of premiums, their deductables and/or their copays could easily produce the savings mentioned, and of course, produce a similar cut to the employees' compensation.
h m September 26, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Lisa, Just out of curiosity, how much are the teachers going to have to pay for premiums, what is your deductible and co-insurance, and ER visits and your prescription medicines? How much is the cost to the teacher per pay period for a family plan vs an individual plan?
Dedicated Parent September 26, 2012 at 05:33 PM
The issue of a new school calendar including earlier start and end dates has not yet been approved by the D219 Board. Rather, this proposal is being considered under the Annual Review of Programs which is the topic of discussion at a Town Hall meeting at Niles North on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. The community will be provided the opportunity to comment on all proposed changes in the Annual Review of Programs at this meeting. The Board will not vote to approve the proposals in the Annual Review until the Dec. 17 Board meeting.
Troy September 26, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Disgusting.
ConcernedCitizen September 26, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Would you like to elaborate??
ConcernedCitizen September 26, 2012 at 10:25 PM
hm, What are all of yours??
Earl Weiss September 27, 2012 at 12:51 AM
"It has nothing to do with employee costs for gasoline, utilities, food, etc. The costs are stated in the new contract" It was an analogy. Compensation should be a set amount, not subject to increases for whatever.. in this case health insurance.
h m September 27, 2012 at 04:11 AM
If you talking about my insurance premiums they are almost 600 per month for a family of three. Have a $5000 deductible, 80/20 coverage, $75 deductible for ER visit and no prescription coverge. The premium includes dental coverage. Maybe the teachers need to stop complaining about the amount they pay for insurance.
ConcernedCitizen September 28, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Earl, maybe you need to go talk to the board and get your facts straight. In the article above, they are giving you an estimated average of how much salaries will increase. That is an AVERAGE....if you go to the district 219 website, it states that the staff and board agreed to an increase of 1.2% plus step for each of the three years of the contract. By the way, even though most people are not receiving raises these days, but a cost of living increase does indeed include gas, utllities, food, insurance, etc.....so, it should be the employees obligation to provide that increase. Not really fair to take the fact that most people are not getting raises out on teachers.
Earl Weiss September 28, 2012 at 02:41 PM
"ConcernedCitizen ....... By the way, even though most people are not receiving raises these days, but a cost of living increase does indeed include gas, utllities, food, insurance, etc.....so, it should be the employees obligation to provide that increase. Not really fair to take the fact that most people are not getting raises out on teachers." To be clear. I never commented on percentages. My point is that many unions argue for a certain health insurance benefit level irrespective of what any cost increase to the employer is. The employer should plan for fixed outlays with employees having to cover any addittional increases. In my reaity "Fair" means you are treated no worse than anyone else. Also no better. So, yes it is fair for teachers not to get raises if, as you put it most people are not getting any.
JLee November 12, 2012 at 07:38 PM
What wasn't mentioned in this article is the expansion of the day care at Niles West at the expense of the wonderful preschool program that they are now ending prematurely.

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