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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 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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