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West Chicago Community High School, support staff release final contract offer details

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 5:41 p.m. CDT

WEST CHICAGO — The Community High School District 94 Board of Education has released details of its final contract proposal to the West Chicago High School Support Staff Association, which represents custodial and maintenance employees, personal care and program assistants, deans’ assistants, administrative assistants and clerks.

The school district and association have been negotiating since February 2012 to create a new contract to replace the previous one, which expired on June 30.

The union declared an impasse Feb. 28 after the two sides failed to reach an agreement during a negotiation session that night.

After that declaration, each side had seven days to submit its final offer to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, according to a news release from the WCHSSSA. After another seven days, the board was expected to post both offers on its website if the parties still had not reached an agreement.

The board sent a news release March 14 to say it had released the details of its final offer. Both the board and association offers are posted on the district's website at www.d94.org as well as the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board website at www2.illinois.gov/elrb/Pages/default.aspx under "Impasse Final Offers" on the left side of the homepage.

Employees could now legally strike in 14 days, WCHSSSA officials said. In a previous release following the Feb. 28 declaration of an impasse, bargaining spokeswoman Monica Piszczek said the union's 76 noncertified employees had no plans to strike at that time.

The declaration of impasse and submission of final offers does not prevent additional negotiations or imply that a strike will occur, according to the board's news release.

Some of the main components of the District 94 board's proposal include increasing wages and other benefits by $525,000 over the course of the three-year contract and offering all employees salary raises and/or bonuses each year; offering a total salary increase of 7.25 percent over the course of the three-year contract and a 7.25 percent in bonuses for employees at the top of the current wage scale; offering one-time retirement bonus payments ranging from $8,000 to $12,000 to retiring employees with 10 or more years of district service; matching medical insurance cost splits that are offered to the district’s certified teachers and administrative employees, with support staff employees paying 15 percent of costs on three of the plans, 20 percent on a fourth plan and 30 percent on the most costly medical insurance plan; and offering incentive payments of $500 to employees who elect to move to a less costly medical insurance plan that would result in an increase in employee take-home pay.

Some of the main components of the WCHSSSA's proposal include increasing wages by $240,000 over the course of the three-year contract and offering all employees — both old and new — salary raises at 3.25 percent, 3 percent and 2.75 percent each respective year; compensating new hires according to their work experience but not paying new hires more than an employee with five or more years with the district in the same classification; and offering an annual 1 percent longevity bonus to employees hired before July 1, 2012, after they complete 20 years of service to District 94.

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