Tentative agreement in Mahomet-Seymour strike

By CRYSTAL LIGON
Mahomet Citizen Editor

MAHOMET — The Mahomet-Seymour school district and its teachers’ union have reached a tentative agreement, according to the union.

“We are so happy,” Mahomet-Seymour Education Association Co-President Joan Jordan said, with tears in her eyes. “We’re going to get to go back to school on Monday.”
Linda Meachum, chief negotiator, who was standing next to Jordan, also had tears in her eyes.

“This has been the most contentious thing I think I’ve ever been in in my life,” Jordan said.
According to Jordan, the tentative one-year agreement involves a step pay increase plus a half percent, which means a 2.6 percent average increase in the teacher salary schedule; teacher aides would get step plus 1 percent, which would be about 3.5 percent; and support staff would get 3.5 percent.

“We got three extra sick days,” Jordan added.

Insurance increased by $25, from $545 to $570, according to Meachum.

Jordan said she expects the union membership to vote on the tentative agreement Monday afternoon.

The special meeting is still on for 4 p.m. to determine if interscholastic sports and activities will continue since it is only a tentative agreement.

When asked to confirm the tentative agreement, Mahomet-Seymour school board President Terry Greene said there would be no comment until after the 4 p.m. meeting.

According to the recently expired contract, Mahomet-Seymour teachers who have a bachelor’s degree made a minimum of $33,055 annually and a maximum of $53,434. The highest paid teachers, which includes teachers who have a master’s degree plus 90 additional hours of continuing education and 30 plus years of experience, made as much as $76,040.

The Mahomet-Seymour school district has about 26 teachers who qualify for retirement receiving 6 percent increases in salary each year over their last four years of service. It is expected that there will be about seven teachers who retire at the end of this year, including Joan Jordan, co-president of the MSEA, and Linda Meachum, chief negotiator of the union. Both are fifth-grade teachers at Lincoln Trail Elementary School.

In total there are about 195 teachers and 55 teachers’ aides, and about 80 other staffers such as secretaries, custodians and bus drivers in the district. Most of the teachers and aides are in the union. About half of the support staff are in the union, according to MSEA spokesman Eric Potter.

According to the district, MSEA teachers have averaged 6 percent increases per year for the last nine years.

In comparison to surrounding school districts, according to the 2009 Illinois State Report Card, Mahomet makes an average of $54,151; Urbana, $54,058; Danville, $61,344; Champaign, $52,410; Rantoul, $45,406; Monticello, $48,417; and Unity, $41,212.

The public can find the expired 2007-10 contract at http://www.ms.k12.il.us/district/district-employment-agreements/index.htm. The latest teacher salary schedule can be found on page 53 in Appendix A, www.ms.k12.il.us/files/mseacontract06.pdf.

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Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I'm glad it's over and I hope the wounds heal quickly. I hope new leadership will mean less drama in next year's negotiations.

Mahometmom wrote on August 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Well said, I appreciate your thoughtful posts on the matter.

big10bum wrote on August 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Good news that it has been resolved quickly, I admire the job that teachers do on a daily basis. I have never taught a class in my life, has to be hard to get the class clowns or those that have no desire to be there to not disrupt the class for those that want to learn something. Too many parents want to blame the schools instead of their own laziness for their lack of parenting skills in raisng their "angel". "My kid never brings home homework, never reads, plays video games for 3-4 hours a night, I have no idea where he or she is half the time,I have never attended a parent/teacher conference,I hang up on the school when they call me, come on teachers step it up!" :)

Uneducated4Real wrote on August 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Sounds like a fig leaf. What do you think, HarrowClub?

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm

I think it's good that it's over. All along, I wanted the students to be able to have a normal school year. This comes pretty close.

But I also think these threads have shown some significant issues with adults in Mahomet, especially their comprehension of labor law and what governments need to do in times of recession. Many of those comments were troubling.

Also, the people who want to rant about "balancing the federal/state budget" should realize that all they are doing is keeping the jobless rate high. Companies are not going to hire without money, and the banks are not loaning it to them.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I think it's good that it's over. All along, I wanted the students to be able to have a normal school year. This comes pretty close.

If you had left it there, it would have been a stellar post. I am a Keynesian, too, but that is a separate issue. Why would you perpetuate an argument when reconciliation is needed?

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

You and others were never interested in reconciling, though. You just wanted to rant about "greedy teachers" and say they should "do more with less," just as you have in good times and bad.

None of this was ever about the economy.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

First, I never called you or any other teacher "greedy" or said "they should do more with less." Please either provide a link to such comments or apologize ... if you're man enough.

Second, reconciliation comes after the battle, not during it.

Third, I agree that it was never about the economy, so why would you bring up the economy now?

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Those comments are everywhere in these threads. So no link is necessary.

The reconciliation needed was on the differences in the negotiation. That happens (... wait for it ...) during the negotiation process.

Finally, many people cited the bad economy for their opposition. Of course, these are the same people who want teachers to "do more with less" every year, in good times and bad. That's why the economy was never really an issue.

This is getting to be a waste of time with you, but feel free to try again. Are you the same person who couldn't be bothered to do the math in the other thread?

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Once again, I am asking for a link to ONE post where I personally called teachers generally or any particular teacher "greedy." Your refusal to admit your error is both dishonest and dishonorable.

archer6 wrote on August 21, 2010 at 8:08 am

No, now you are showing your true ignorance. Most people have no problem with teachers being paid well. I have many friends who are teachers in Mahomet and I have much respect for what they do. However, in this economy, with a state that ranks 50th in the union as far being fiscally sound, it is ridiculous to demand an increase. Most people in Mahomet have probably had their salaries frozen or reduced over the last year or two, yet health insurance has continued to rise. Those on social security didn’t get a raise last year and very well may not get one this next year and if they do it will be very small. As Obama likes to say, it is time for “everyone to have some skin in the game.”

Just because the school has a reserve doesn’t mean they spend it. I would certainly hope you have an emergency fund in your household that you don’t get into just because you want to go out to dinner and a movie. This is basically the same issue. No one is anti-teacher, but this was the prudent thing to do. Surely, an “educated”, “sophisticated” person such as you can understand that.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

Again, the economy was never really an issue here because people have made the same rants, in good times and bad, for 25 years.

The uneducated: They write a lot but say a little.

Uneducated4Real wrote on August 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Now, let's be honest, lad. The closest you have ever come to a real negotiation is training your dog to retrieve your newspaper. Acerbity, petulance and sarcasm will never persuade someone to accept your point of view. And if persuasion is not your purpose, then you are just so much wasted wind --- unpleasant, wasted wind, at that.

Uneducated4Real wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Some final thoughts for you, young sir:
First, I admire your energy and the strength of your convictions. You have fought the good fight to argue a very weak case as enthusiastically as it could be done.
Second, there are suitable synonyms for "rant" and "uneducated", and a more thoughtful debater would have used them. You can find a thesaurus on line with little effort.
Third, whatever social justice may or may not be embedded in public employee unions, the fact is that unions drive out jobs -- increasing the quality of life for those lucky enough to have public union employment, sure, but shrinking the number of people who can benefit from the limited resource pool. (A similar economic effect erupts from the unmarketable minimum wage, being the resulting explosion in teen unemployment.)
Finally, you and I both know just exactly how smart you are, and aren't. But you have promise, and when you grow up a little bit you will be of good use to your students and your community. Good luck to you.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

You might be better off directing that energy toward the people who continually ignored the facts and posted falsehoods.

Until you are courageous enough to do so, your words have little meaning.

nana25 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

There is not a teacher's union in existence that would not like to see more and more jobs created. A high priority for unions is low teacher to student ratios. Why? Because it has been, repeatedly, proven that 15-18 kids in a class is the optimum learning situation. Why do you think expensive, private schools boast of low teacher/student ratio? And why do you think those students perform better across the board? It's not brain surgery here!

Uneducated4Real wrote on August 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

A high priority for teachers' unions is more teaching jobs at high union wages (assuming infinite funding), and certainly not more jobs allocated from the same fixed wage pool. That point is agreed. I attended one of those expensive, private schools, and taught at one briefly, so of course I know first hand what first rate non-union teachers can do with an average mind like mine. Smaller classrooms are a big part of it, but so is the absence of union work rules and the dead weight of that bottom 5% of teachers who have no place in any classroom and are not tolerated in private placement. To borrow your phrase, "it's not brain surgery" that parents across the country will pay almost any price to get their children into non-union schools. Excellent districts like Mahomet prosper because of good teachers, and dedicated parents, and an upper-middle class tax base, but also in spite of the ankle weights of its Union, not because of it.

serfdom wrote on August 21, 2010 at 7:08 am

Then why wouldn't it be a better use of taxpayer funds to cut Joan Jordans roughly $90,000 in half and hire another $45,000 teacher with 7-8 years experience and spit the class in half?
New job created, class size reduced, no additional funding.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Miracle -- you finally proposed something, rather than showing what a stupid person you are.

There are professions that push experienced people out the door. Of course, it's a form of age discrimination, which you might already know. I think a while ago, schools even were able to get away with it, but they abused the practice, and it has been limited ever since.

Also, you would be getting a less experienced teacher, but I doubt this will affect your thinking much, as you seem to believe anyone can do the job. That idea comes with your being little more than a bag of manure.

serfdom wrote on August 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

Bagdad Bob: I'll let the taxpayers judge you on your name calling and just make a simple point to the citizens of Mahomet. Instead of being age discrimination, it's called COMPETITION. Those of us in the private sector deal with and benefit from it. That new teacher with 7-8 yrs. experience may be far superior to the old overpaid one. Injecting fresh new talent into any workplace is good. Why would anyone be opposed to that? Since they are doing the same job, shouldn't they be paid equally? Of course they should! One little hitch though. The younger union members all look at those 30 year salaries and corresponding pensions and see themselves in the same sweet position in another decade or two. Their table is set. Get tenure, work your 8 months each year, demand more with each new contract, and retire at 55 with a fat pension. No reason to achieve excellence in your profession. No threat from competition. Just show up and get more each and every year. Very sad.

serfdom wrote on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

I think he's the Mahomet version of "Bagdad Bob"

Fuzzybeard2016 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm
Profile Picture

@serfdom: That reminds me of my favorite "Baghdad Bob" moment: BB is giving forth with his usual b.s., and them says, "There are no American Tanks in Baghdad!" As if on cue, an M1A2 goes rolling by not 25 yards behind BB. I could've sworn that I saw the tank commander standing up in his cupola waving at the cameras in a 'Hi Mom!' kind of moment.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

That's much like when the uneducated hordes here throw out a lie, and someone immediately smacks it down.

The difference is the people here keep posting the same lies and hope they will be believed.

serfdom wrote on August 21, 2010 at 7:08 am

Thanks for the mind picture - I'm rolling on the floor laughing. He's Bagdad Bob for sure!

fflkommish wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

1 year deal always felt like the right thing to do

Go Dogs!

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

A one-year deal means going through this again and again. But I'm sure you knew that.

Go, educational priorities!

fflkommish wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

yes, but in tough/uncertain times it seemed logical. and it is an approach taken in many other districts I think.

bulldogparent wrote on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Go, family priorities! They have to feed, house, clothe and insure their families. It's not a sweet ride or the easy job that some of you seem to think.

youhavetobekidding wrote on August 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

“We got three extra sick days,” Jordan added.

That's on top of the 15 they already get if they've been teaching in the District for 10 years. Add in the 2 personal days and that's now an additional 4 weeks a year (out of the 36 they work) that they can take off. I'd say the amount the teachers are getting paid for 32 weeks work is more than fair.

Or they can just accumulate those sick days and get paid for them upon retirement.

God bless the unions.

bulldogparent wrote on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

You have obviously never been sick, had surgery or had to be the one who took the kids to the doctor since your spouse can't get off their job to do it. You must lead a charmed life.

youhavetobekidding wrote on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

People in all walks of life and all professions have those exact issues. I beg you to find another profession where the employees get 20 sick/personal days on top of their 60 vacation days.

nana25 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

No pay in the summer- we have saved so that we can make it through the summer- You can work summer school for extra pay, just like you can coach for extra pay.

yates wrote on August 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Can't teachers take their pay spread over 12 months?

serfdom wrote on August 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

As I said before you removed my comments, You must be an uneducated, blue collar screw turner that can't read. Get your facts straight before you post.

serfdom wrote on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

This is how teachers retire at 50.

nana25 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Check your facts- teachers cannot retire at 50, unless they are independently wealthy, which may happen if they sell insurance, paint houses, tutor, work retail every holiday season, or work any number of extra jobs! The teacher retirement system does not pay retirement at 50 to anyone. Read, get your facts straight! Reading is a great way to learn. No doubt, some teacher taught you to read.

serfdom wrote on August 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Oops, typo. I was sure I hit 55. Oh well, aren't you lucky to have actually worked only 20 of those 30 years, retire with a pension approx. 5 times that of social security, and done so at 55 rather than 66?

TrojanMan78 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

The school board should be ashamed of themselves. They caved to union thugs. People of Mahomet replace every one of the school board memebers at next election cycle. Watching the communist union people holding hands and celebrating the raping of the tax payers even more, makes me sick. People of Mahomet this sets a bad precedent and the teachers union now has the school board by the !@#$s. Every new contract they will keep asking for higher raises because they know the school board will cave.

Mahometmom wrote on August 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I think they worked really hard trying to take into account those that didn't want a raise above step and those that wanted school to start. I worry that next year they will have teachers that say they gave in once and aren't going to do it again. Just glad the teachers will have different leadership. I will vote for them again.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Trojan,
That kind of absolutist, all-or-nothing approach is ruining this country and now you're infecting the community. "Compromise" used to be regarded as a virtue bur mindless reactionaries are treating it as a moral failure.

I applaud the School Board and the MSEA for finding a resolution to the conflict that protects the district's financial stability.

cretis16 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Wait till you see the next property tax increase......OUCH! Teachers are greedy with an economy this bad, unemployment...they gave the taxpayers the finger.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Yes, those pennies on the dollar will really hurt.

sahuoy wrote on August 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Mahomet parents, in preparation for next year, start saving now and make your contingency plans for a long strike until this union has been dissolve once and for all. Salary increases of 6% a year the last four years and 2.5 to 3.5 increase this year on top of families already suffering with this economy. Rid ourselves of the union once and for all. They are anything less than the best for our children and Mahomet.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I hope you realize that a union can only be dissolved by a vote of its membership. You're whistling in the wind, so it would be better to work toward finding a mutually agreeable resolution instead of deepening and widening the divide.

mahomet_equalizer wrote on August 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm

As I understand the figures, it appears the Board has agreed to 0.5% additional above what the union was already entitled to receive. With an average salary of around $51K, this is roughly $255.00 in additional pay. With 2 days of striking and not working, this equates to $15.94 per hour assuming an 8 hour work day. With the teachers placing a value on their time at $15.94 per hour, this equates to an annual salary of $33,134 based on a 40 hour work week. This is substantially lower than the average annual salary being paid, yet this is the value placed on their time by themselves. They shut down an entire school district for 2 days for $255.00. The MSEA held everyone hostage for $255 per teacher.

My point is this entire charade has been ridiculous and an insult to the taxpayers, parents, community and most of all the students. The board did the best they could do with the intelligence level they were forced to deal with in their negotiations. My apologies to any teacher that does not fit this profile. Don't condemn the board for their actions. Work with them to break up this insane union and restore some integrity to the community and school district. The teachers would most likely experience a pay raise by no longer having to pay their union dues.

Citizens of Mahomet School District you have a year to figure out how to take Mahomet Seymour School District NON UNION unless you want to live this nightmare again next year and the year after that and on and on. Look what the Unions did to GM. It is happening to the Mahomet Seymour School district before your very eyes.

Let the bashing begin against me for speaking my mind. You can hate me for my opinion but it does not change the facts.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

And if they had gained more, you would be ranting against that, too.

The uneducated: In good times and bad, they have the same argument. And it's a tired one.

mahomet_equalizer wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Thank you for not disappointing me!!!!

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

As stunning as this might be, I do think little was gained from the standoff.

But a resolution gets the students back in class, which is what needed to happen.

Mahometmom wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Does anyone know if this can be done legally? Can teachers in Illinois work for a public district without a union? Can the union only be dissolved by the members or can the community reject it? I'm only looking for facts from knowledgeable sources, with documentation. And no, HC I'm not going to take the time to do it myself.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Only the membership can de-certify the union.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

The community can't reject the union. I guess if a group agreed to a deal, signed it, and then walked off the job anyway, then some action could be taken. But I doubt that would happen.

mahomet_equalizer wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I do not know the legal answer to this question. I would assume it is a matter of contract law, since the contracts are written for specific periods of time. I am sure the Union will tell you otherwise. If the residents of Mahomet Seymour School District are serious about this, it is a matter that should be taken up with the Board. It would be no little undertaking, but the end result might be worth the effort.

If it is possible, there is probably no better time than the present to put the ball in motion. There is a surplus teachers right now across the country. It would most likely take a full year to organize something of this magnitude. Every private company that has had employee unions strike on them has at one time or another used Scab labor to cross the picket line to keep the companies running. It would seem logical if you could find non union teachers willing to teach and fill all of the positions, you would not have to renew the contract next year.

With the amount of money currently spent on teachers salaries, I am sure a very attractive compensation package could be put together for a completely non-union teachers' staff. Even if there was no cost savings involved to the taxpayers, not having to be held hostage by the unions might be benefit enough.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

It's not a matter of contract law, it's a matter of labor law. In any workplace, workers have the right to certify an organization to represent them in collective bargaining. Even when the current contract expires, the workers' right to collective bargaining continues. Yes, the district could use temporary replacement workers during a work stoppage, but they cannot permanently replace the workers. So if the strike lasted for part of the year, say one month, at that point the replacements would be gone and the permanent staff would be back. The students would suddenly have different teachers with different lesson plans. You may think that's a wonderful plan, but my kid's education is more valuable to me than your reactionary politics.

The fundamental principle behind sound labor-management relations is for both sides to compromise to reach an agreement that everyone can live with. That's what adults do. They don't turn disputes into all-or-nothing fights to the death. I certainly hope you don't treat you family this way-- "Either do what I want or get out!" Why treat you coworkers that way?

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

First, $51,000 x 0.005 is $205, not $255.

Second, the teachers will have the same number of work days this year that they would have had if there were no strike. They will simply start and end the school year later. So your figure of $15.94/hr and everything that follows is meaningless.

The truth here is that both sides found an acceptable agreement. That's what adults do, they find acceptable compromises.

mahomet_equalizer wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

No disrespect intended, but you should check your math. The correct answer is $51,000 X .005 = $255.00.

I completely agree with your statement that everything that follows is meaningless. I think I used the term ridiculous and that's exactly what this entire charade by the union was.....meaningless and ridiculous.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

You're right about the math. I apologize.

If $255 is meaningless, send me a check for that amount. It's more of a raise than I'm going to get this year.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 21, 2010 at 12:08 am

You still don't understand averages, do you?

Not everyone gets that as a raise.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm

And yet you don't edit your post.

The uneducated: They refuse to erase their many mistakes.

mahometmother wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I disagree with those who are unhappy with the school board. I think they acted admirably considering the circumstances, and I will vote for them again. Terry Greene came across as reasonable and well-spoken, especially in contrast to the union rep.

One thing to consider is did the union win this battle only to lose the war?

Mahometmom wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I agree, the board did a good job. I don't know that the union won. They got some concessions, but certainly not what they wanted. I think the whole thing was just post-poned until next year. That poor board, to have to sit through these meetings again. I hope they have the strength to do it! The teachers union did burn a lot of good will and they will have to work hard to earn it back.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Next year, some of the higher-paid teachers will have retired. Then the average salary will be lower, and the uneducated people will not be as confused.

This whole thing is a textbook example of why median, rather than average, is a better method to use.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Whether you want to believe it or not, this is not about the averages. People simply don't think that it is reasonable to inflate the pay schedule across-the-board in this economic environment. If the average pay had been $60k or $40k, or if median had been used, the calculus would have been the same. You may not agree with me, but you can at least try to understand the point.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Mean and median are not automatically the same, regardless of what you want to believe.

Also, the economy has nothing to do with this. You make the same anti-teacher rant, in good times and bad, year after year.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Of course they're not the same. If you re-read my post, you might see that I didn't say they were. When I said, "The calculus would have been the same," I did not mean the number would be the same. I meant that people's analysis of the situation would have been the same. My point is that people's opposition was not grounded on any number used to characterize the current teachers' pay.

How would you possibly know what my opinion is year after year?

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm

You exhibit that pattern.

Interested wrote on August 21, 2010 at 12:08 am

Don't quit your day job because you're not very good as a mind reader.

archer6 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I totally agree, Terry did an excellent job.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

He came across far better than the anti-teacher ranters here. You guys could learn a lot from him.

archer6 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

While I am glad this little temper tantrum by the union is over, I hate that we are going to have to go through it again next year. I am most disappointed though that it didn’t get that hot today. I was really hoping for about 115 heat index, maybe next year when they pull this stunt.

Interesting though, I have found the data base for teacher’s salaries at http://www.familytaxpayers.org/salary.php. It appears we have some “very poor” teachers in our district. Here are some examples: Thomas Appenzeller --$89,193
Verlann Archley (Psychologist)--$81,484 (must have to spend most of her time with Joan Jordan, thus the high salary.)
Melissa Gumbel--$86,091
Joan Jordan (My Favorite Windbag)--$86,202
Barbara Patrick--$85,632
Randy Sallade--$81,484
Carol Shallenberger (Reading Teacher)--$93,465
Patricia Warren--$83,779
Of course I only included the union members that make more than $80,000, but I must also include my 2nd favorite windbag: Linda Meachum at $75,815

With salaries like these for 8 months of work (12 months-3 months for summer-1 month for holidays and breaks), I don’t know how they can make it. This just shows the greed and hypocrisy of these union types. I agree it is time for a revolt and time we get rid of the unions in our schools.

Mahometmom wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

This must be old, Carol is now the Principal at Middletown, the one that gave up her office because they needed classroom space. hmm, so I guess for those other teachers figure in at least last year's raise.

archer6 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

According the website those are the 2009 salaries, so yes a year old. But close enough for government work.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

She was a principal in 2009, so the web site is inaccurate.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

See above post.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Even though you include an administrator and a psychologist.

The uneducated: Being kinda close is good enough for them. Who cares about accuracy?

serfdom wrote on August 21, 2010 at 7:08 am

What is means is: they make even more this year!

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

One other thing that must be pointed out: Most people in other jobs get vacation time. I don't hear anyone saying about an engineer: "Well, he has four weeks of vacation, so he works only 11 months a year." For school employees, the calendar dictates when that vacation time takes place.

Same thing with holidays. Many workers have them. And before the whining starts: Yes, some people like hospital workers don't.

You might be able to keep blabbing about the 3 months (actually 2 1/2) of break during the summer, but the rest of it is no different than what many workers have.

Also, if you are so opposed to the summer vacation, then go to the board and demand a balanced calendar. Then report back to us about the outcome.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Misplaced and relocated.

sahuoy wrote on August 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

A $51,500 salary at 2.5% = $1,030 or .50 per hour at 2,040 hours. With a $15,000,000 payroll that is a $375,000 at 2.5% or $525,000 at 3.5%. Remember that these are percentages and future percents of 1% or 5% sound small, they are more than ever paid before as 1% of 15,000,000 is $150,000 and 1% of 14,250,000 is 142,500. A difference of $7,500. At 2.5% that's an increase of $18,750 each and every year in the future. How many households in Mahomet?

Temporary wrote on August 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I live in Mahomet and have stayed in Mahomet BECAUSE of the school system here. Which includes the teachers. I can't say that I was thrilled to hear about the strike, but considering the wonderful teachers my teenager has had since he was 5, I refused to pretend that I had all the information and refused to quickly pass judgement.
I assume that most parents who stay in Mahomet, choose to purchase a home here and pay the taxes here, do it in large part because of the school system. No matter how upset I initially wanted to be with the teachers, I had to give people who have been wonderful to deal with, some benefit of the doubt.
As an aside, my understanding of two of the key players here, Meachum and Greene, are that they are both quite abrasive, rude, and difficult to get along with. BOTH. That will never make for good negotiations...
Most importantly, I'm glad forward steps have been made and I now hope our district and village can move forward from here and have ANOTHER great school year.

Interested wrote on August 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Well said. I hope that next year this can be dealt with maturely. This year it seemed as though this was treated as a personal contest. Too much of the dialog seemed to be about personal power. People seemed to be determined to "win" and have the other side "lose" when the goal should be a reasonable compromise. Perhaps new leadership will help. We know that the union will have new leadership. I hope the Board mixes up the negotiating team, too.

mobey53 wrote on August 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm

If you read the article again, you have teachers who by most standards have done something that anyone who negotiates a contract would hope to do. They have went on strike and stood strong for the few who are not making the "big Bucks" but that isn't news is it? Does anyone know what the salaries of the custodians, secretaries and bus drivers who will get the biggest percentage of the raises. The teachers take is barely over a step in pay. Is it a lot because of their salaries? Yes, but they took it on the chin from the community and when the smoke cleared it wasn't the teacher but the ESP staff who are making a lot less who hold the brass ring. The Mahomet community should be ashamed of themselves for letting the school board and news media allow you to believe the worst without knowing the full story. Ah but that is Mahomet isn't it. No matter how big they get they still have that small town flavor!

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Great post, Mobey.

We didn't even see the worst, which we would have encountered if the football schedule would have been threatened.

Big_Dawg wrote on August 21, 2010 at 12:08 am

There is really very little citizens can do directly about teacher unions in Illinois. What's needed at the state level is to reclassify teachers as municipal employees subject to binding arbitration. This takes away teachers' "right" to strike.

What happens is when negotiations break down, as they did with this negotiation, both sides present a neutral person their proposal for the contract. This neutral person, called unsurprisingly an arbitrator, weighs the two offers and examines the fiscal situation of the institution. He or she then chooses one of the proposals.

The benefits are obvious - no teacher strikes, much less posturing, and a much healthier process.

This is something the legislature CAN do. Making noise about breaking the union is nonsensical and counter-productive. Contact your local rep (Chapin Rose if you're in Mahomet) and get the ball rolling to have binding arbitration for teachers' contracts. And yes, I will be writing just such a letter to Mr. Rose.

Now let's put pressure on folks to have a contract for 2011-2012 next May. No more last second deals - it's tiresome.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 21, 2010 at 12:08 am

That does nothing to address the problem of people using a personal grudge to try to get a teacher fired, though. The union is needed for those cases, too.

Also, if the state officials cannot pay the districts what they owe, then they have no business messing with the bargaining process. If you are going to contact Rep. Rose, then start by asking him when the state is going to pay what it owes and what it plans to do to correct the situation.

Big_Dawg wrote on August 21, 2010 at 12:08 am

Are you suggesting the bargaining process is NOT broken? If so, we have a difference of opinion.

It changes absolutely nothing about the grievance procedure. The union remains intact to represent employees in such matters.

It is a system in use for our state's firefighters, police, and many other state employees. This is not a radical proposal in the least. It ensures uninterrupted service from vital employees. I think we can agree teachers fit that criterium.

Interested wrote on August 21, 2010 at 12:08 am

I don't think that it can be argued that school has the same time sensitivity as emergency services. The impact of starting the school year a week late is less severe that having to wait a week for a police or fire response.

Besides, do you really think that Chapin Rose is going to be able to get anything passed while Michael Madigan is Speaker?

Big_Dawg wrote on August 21, 2010 at 12:08 am

It is used in other sectors besides emergency service providers. I agree, however, in no way is the time sensitivity comparable. I will say a teachers' strike is very damaging to a community. I see binding arbitration as a fair alternative.

You make a fair point about Madigan. Just giving up to the Chicago folks is not in my nature though. I certainly understand Chapin's frustrations.

sahuoy wrote on August 21, 2010 at 2:08 am

Correction: The state may not have paid what they supposedly currently owe but they have every right to intervene since having paid from the founding of the Mahomet school system through now. When you strike staking claim to unpaid monies which you have no right to claim pending the fiscal reality and progress of Illinois' affairs it is you who indeed has no business in running the state of Illinois from school seat that only serves the teachers and not all the people.

TheHarrowClub wrote on August 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

That made no sense. What exactly are you trying to say?

It sounds as if you are just stringing together a bunch of assumptions and hoping they add up to something. That makes you sound (... dramatic pause ...) uneducated.

sahuoy wrote on August 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm

wOw and you call others uneducated?