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D-15 Votes to Initiate Contract Talks With Teachers Union

The Community Consolidated School District 15 board voted Wednesday to initiate contract talks with the teachers union after April 27.

The District 15 school board will initiate contract talks with its teachers union after April 27.

The school board voted Wednesday to initiate the contract talks, despite the fact there is more than a year left on the current contract.

"In view of economic conditions, [what's happening in] neighboring states, surrounding districts. I thought it was a good time to make an overture to the CTC," said school board member Richard Bokor. "And to open the door to see which way they want to go."

Bokor made the motion to have two members of the school board act as representatives and to initiate talks with the teachers union. Board member Sue Quinn said such an effort should be deferred until April 27 – after the April 5 school board election and after the new school board is seated.

The talks could lead to the current teachers contract being reopened, however, the union would have to agree.

"[If they say no] There's no where to go until the next contract," board member Tim Millar said.

The decision by the board comes as the district faces projected budget deficits.

The district's budget deficit for the current fiscal year is projected to be $3.6 million. The deficit is expected to rise each year, reaching $13.6 million at the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Although the school district is projected to have significant budget deficits, it also has more than $51 million in reserves. Even with projected rising deficits, the district believes it still would have $5.2 million in reserves at the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

Scott Herr March 03, 2011 at 03:29 PM
It's important to note the District 15 School Board set a "healthy fund balance" target at 30% of annual expenditures based in part on Illinois State Board of Education recommendations. The June 2011 "healthy balance" target would be approx. $42 million. At the current rate of deficit spending, District 15 will be at an "unhealthy balance" in about 18 months. It should also be noted District 15 would already be at an "unhealthy balance" were it not for unexpected revenue windfalls of about $13 million over the past two years. The District 15 Board must take stronger action to eliminate this unsustainable deficit spending.
Patricia March 03, 2011 at 03:46 PM
In view of the salaries and perks the school boards are receiving, I would think their salaries should be reopened to cuts as well to let the voters see exactly if they are willing to take cuts and make their perks/salaries commensurate with the economy of the times. And this should be done PRIOR to the election. The monies going to those who rule the public workers is taking our government down.
Jennifer Mondy March 03, 2011 at 07:48 PM
Video of the discussion, motion and vote from last night's D15 Board of Education meeting to initiate contract discussions with the Classroom Teachers Council (CTC) can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euUJl57Lxmc
Kathy O. March 03, 2011 at 09:29 PM
Tim Millar and Sue Quinn have been asking for this for a long time. I believe Bokor, Ekeberg, and Chapman were steadfastly against it until a week or so ago. What has changed for them now - the upcoming election? I hate to be cynical, but this seem awfully dishonest of them. I have a hard time accepting that they are acting in good faith.
Taraxias March 04, 2011 at 12:25 AM
We need a board that answers only to the taxpayers and puts kids first. Not their union bosses. Vote 1 3 5.
celtic citizen March 07, 2011 at 04:02 PM
"In view of the salaries and perks the school boards are receiving"- school board members do not receive salaries, Patricia. Though they are elected, they serve voluntarily. It is unethical for them to be receiving any "perks" and they should not (and to my knowledge are not) be receiving any.
celtic citizen March 07, 2011 at 04:23 PM
We need a board who understands education and can balance the needs of taxpayers and students while comprehending the enormous changes coming at the state and national levels in the immediate future. There are many changes coming by 2014- a nationwide set of Common Core Standards with a new extremely rigorous performance-based statewide test, and has anyone else been reading about Governor Quinn's initiative to consolidate the state's almost 900 school districts down to around 300? We (D15) stand a very good chance of being impacted by that initiative. No matter whom is elected in April, our board needs to stop its in-fighting that began in April 2005 (get training, better educate yourselves about education, understand group process better- whatever it needs to do to get along) and realize there is a great deal at stake that goes beyond a balanced budget (which is very important), kow towing to a select group of angry tax payers and pointing fingers at each other. The very future of D15 is at stake with these enormous changes happening outside of our control.

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