It should not come as a huge surprise that when a local teacher's union decides to move forward with a strike, a higher salary is one of the main sticking points.
In recent weeks, teachers' unions for District 158 and District 300 both approved a strike vote and have since delcared an impasse in contract negotiations. Here are some more details on where those districts and teachers' unions currently stand with the ongoing negotiations:
- The Huntley Teacher's Assocation declared an impasse Tuesday. Compensation was the main issue holding the the District 158's teachers' union and the district back from reaching a contract aggreement, according to a Tuesday press release from District 158. As of Wednesday, a tentative contract agreement has been reached between the district and the union. Details surrounding the contract were not being released and the contract would be voted on Monday.
- In District 300, compensation as well as learning environment and smaller class sizes are on LEAD 300's wish list for improvements. District 300's final offer to its teachers' union provides a 2.75 percent salary increase from 2012 to 2013, including an average step increase of 2 percent. After District 300's union declared an impasse in recent weeks, both the district and union were required by state law to submit its final offers by this past Monday. Hundreds of teachers attended a school board meeting this past week to sound off on the continued contract negotiations. The earliest date teachers could strike, if they decide to, would be Dec. 3.
In addition, teachers in Prairie Grove School District 46 took part in a one-day strike in October before reaching, and then ratifying, a contract with the school district.
District 46 teachers were seeking a salary rate increase, without hidden step-pay hikes common in many union contracts. Sticking points also revolved around health insurance, extra-pay duty and retirement benefits.
The teachers eventually agreed to an average increase of 1.76 percent for 2011 to 12 and an average increase of 1.89 percent for the 2012 to 13, according to a information released Wednesday by the Prairie Grove Teachers Association.
On average, teachers across the state as well as teachers in 90 districts in the north, northwest and west suburbs received a 2 percent salary raise over the past year according to a Daily Herald study published Wednesday of data from the state's school report card.
The Daily Herald study also found there is a huge gap in suburban teacher's salaries.
On the high end, teachers in Maine Township School District 207 in Park Ridge make on average $116,044 each year. On the low end, teachers in Emmons Elementary District 33 in far Northwest suburban Antioch pull in an average salary of $47,624.
The state average for teachers' salaries is $66,614 while the average administrator salary is $110,870, according to the Illinois Board of Education's annual school report card.
Here is a look at the average salary for local teachers:
- The average salary for District 300 teachers is $61,714 while the average administrator salary in District 300 is $103,296. Teachers in District 300 have on average 11.7 years of teaching experience. Of those teachers, 27.5 percent have their Bachelor's degree while 72.5 percent have a Master's, or higher, degree.
- As for District 158, the average salary for teachers is $56,532 while the average administrator salary is $93,962, according to the state's school report cards. The district has 522 total teachers with an average of 10 years experience. Of those teachers, 41.8 percent have their Bachelor's degree while 58.2 percent have a Master's, or higher, degree.