Ives wants school districts to be responsible for employees compensation
Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) thinks District 200 school board members’ motivation for holding an emergency meeting about changes made to the Teacher Retirement System was quite clear.
“The school board held the emergency meeting only to shift the pension cost of the inflated salaries on to taxpayers statewide,” Ives told the DuPage Policy Journal. “Their action confirms what many have said, local districts need to be responsible for the entire compensation of their employees so inflated benefits and salaries are moderated by having locals pay for it all.”
As part of the state’s new $38.5 billion bipartisan budget, changes were made to the Teacher Retirement System that District 200 board members felt compelled to act on during an emergency meeting in early June,
At the meeting, members unanimously approved multiyear contracts for retiring district administrators who are receiving 6 percent salary increases. That's half of the cap Gov. Bruce Rauner signed off on in the new budget in terms of increases for teachers at the end of their careers.
“Local school districts have given out enormous pay and benefit packages to administrators while complaining at the same time they have to make cuts to the classroom,” Ives said. “They know most parents and taxpayers are too busy to challenge the school budget or too shy about challenging the administration of their children's school.”
As a principle, Ives said overall compensation packages, including pension plans, should be a factor whenever a pay raise for a school administrator is being considered.
“Right now, the only way taxpayers can control the rising costs of pensions is to control the salary increases and the payroll count,” Ives said. “The pension fund for school teachers and administrators has only 38 percent of the assets needed to pay out current benefits. Until the plan is better-funded, teachers and administrators are either going to have to take a pay freeze or come to the bargaining table for pension reform.”