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District 155, teachers union continue negotiations

Published: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 1:12 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 11:34 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The expired teachers union contract for faculty at Community High School District 155 is not expected to interrupt daily activities.

Leaders from the district board and education association said negotiations have been ongoing since the previous contract expired June 30, and there is no impasse in talks.

“It will be business as usual,” said Justin Hubly, president of the Community High School District 155 Education Association. Ted Wagner, board president, confirmed that negotiations were still taking place.

Neither could comment further on the situation.

Under terms of the previous agreement reached in June 2011, the salary schedule for the district’s more than 400 teachers was frozen. In the first year, pay remained flat for the 88 teachers at the top of the schedule. The rest of the teachers received a step increase of $2,404.

The agreement also called for teachers to pay more for health insurance. Additional employee contributions for benefits made up the majority of the estimated $2 million in savings over two years.

Still, the district spent $68.5 million on salaries and benefits last year, and the outcome of the negotiations could determine whether the district has an operating surplus or deficit this fiscal year.

Budget projections show the district could have a $200,000 surplus in operation costs, but that number easily could become a $300,000 deficit as negotiations continue with the teachers union and administrators.

The $200,000 surplus assumes that salaries and benefits remain flat during this school year, but for every 1 percent potential increase, the district must spend about $500,000, according to T. Ferrier, assistant superintendent of finance.

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