Easy-View Version Of The Doomsday Budget

Here's an embedded (relatively easy-to-view) version of the budget Huberman presented to AIOs and principals yesterday, if you want to comb through the thing without downloading or opening anything up.  News updates and reader comments are gathered here:

As always, let us know if you find any mistakes or see anything that seems interesting or new.

Filed under: 125 S. Clark Street


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  • I get it. CPS leadership needs to be blunt and discuss worst case scenarios when it comes to the budget. If they painted a pretty picture it wouldn't be as effective in helping to affect change with the union contract and down in Springfield. However, they should also be acting very swiftly with the cuts. Two weeks will pass before individuals are notified. If you work at central office, how are you supposed to get anything done with the possibility of layoffs looming over you? I think if anyone gets a job offer in the next two weeks they'll leave CPS in a heartbeat, and those people may not be the ones you actually wanted to cut.

  • there is an old saying.....the figures don't lie....but liars can figure

  • Seems to me that this Power Point sent out by Huberman continues to point the finger at unions and at the state. Where is the recognition by CPS that it has wasted money over the years? Charter schools that show no difference in student learning and nonpayment into the pension fund from 1995-2005 have contributed to this finacial debacle. Seems to me this was created to get the public to look at teachers as being the blame for the crisis. Now CPS and Huberman will sit back and see if the public jumps on thier bandwagon so they can really push us as being the bad guys.

    Jim Cavallero
    Member of CORE

  • tough talk from ctu:

    CTU President Marilyn Stewart released the following statement Tuesday afternoon in response to CEO Ron Huberman

  • That was one of the best statements President Stewart has made. But it still assumes there is a great deal of room for maneuvering in Springfield. I am not sure President Stewart completely grasps that the State of Illinois is broke and right now no one including the majority of Democrats want to vote for an income tax increase.

    But I very much liked her statement: "Parents and students in Chicago should have both: small class sizes with quality educational programs and teachers who are paid a fair salary for the hard work they do." I could not agree more with that statement.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Really? I thought it was one of the most irresponsible things I've ever read.

    This problem is simple. The State and the Chicago schools are broke. And they are broke because of a perfect storm of a horrible financial climate in which CTPF's portfolio lost 25% of its value, CPS has a statutory obligation to get CTPF 90% funded by 2045, and CPS' revenue is down to lower property tax revenues and a second year of state funding cuts. The deficit is so large that you can't fix just one thing. Even if CPS had no pension obligation, it still has a $400 million deficit.

    I don't know what Stewart is doing "behind the scenes" (and where's she been for the last 3-4 years that CPS leadership has been begging for pension relief and for increased state funding). So far she's pretty ineffective for the leader of one the state's largest unions.

    I am not sure how her rhetoric helps the situation. She obviously did not attend Huberman's presentations yesterday. He was uncommonly gracious to someone whose major public comment on the crisis has been "no concessions, next question." (That's the spirit -- viturally every public employee in the country is making concessions, but CTU, its cheeks full, stands firm on principle while the public school system crumbles around them. Yeah team!)

    As for blaming CPS for getting into this mess, with all due respect, CTU walked away with the supposed pension fund contributions with now 10 consecutive years of increases at 6 to 7%. Where the heck do you think that money came from? Certainly not from Springfield and certainly not from increased property taxes.

    On her last point, hey, finally something no one can argue with. But getting there requires real leadership and real labor-management collaboration . . . someone's who's too busy trying to get elected to be honest about what needs to done is hardly going to guide us there.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    CPS did not make payments on our pension from 1995-2005. In fact, they borrowed from the Chicago Teacher Pension Fund because our fund managers actually know how to invest money wisely. The cries about the pension debt now are crazy. Had CPS set aside some money for our pension contributions instead of blowing through it on their various unproven schemes to "reform" education, our pension would be 99% funded right now.

    The 7% contribution that CPS makes to our pension is salary that is deferred for us to receive after we retire and was agreed upon in our contracts between the Union and the Board of Ed.

    The Board pushed for the Union to take a 5 year contract, in fact, from what I've heard, they were originally asking for a 10 year contract! The contract will be up in 2012. They can ask us about concessions when we bargain again, in two years.

    It is not the fault of the teachers that the Board cannot manage its funds. Maybe they shouldn't have opened all those new charter schools. Maybe they shouldn't have invested in firms like Bear Stearns. Maybe Huberman shouldn't have opened numerous NEW departments staffed with his CTA friends, who are now making $100,000+ despite their lack of education experience or any usefullness in the district. I guess we'll never know though, because they CANNOT EVEN PRODUCE AN HONEST LINE-BY-LINE BUDGET for the public to analyze. Nope, nothing but Powerpoints with ridiculous graphics of clouds of gloom as "proof" that we are out of money. Open the books!

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    I also wonder why not hit the TIF Fund! It is the people's money!!!

  • It is a sad day when education hits the cutting block first. How can we instill that education counts when that's what is hit first with cuts.
    Let's see, we'll fire teachers, over crowd classrooms (even if 37-40 kids can't fit in a classroom without fire code violations), cut ESL, cut sports, cut arts, cut PreK and K and then wonder next year why schools don't make AYP.

    I want to see the Huberman take the hit first. Fire all those assistants to assistants, get rid of company cars (buy your own), and pay for your own cell phone. There's probably a lot of property that could be auctioned off as well. Hit your pocket first before the classrooms.

  • I'm pretty sure what Jim meant was that the CPS didn't contribute to the pension fund from 1995-2005. I bet if I didn't pay my bills for 10 years, they'd be huge too.

  • In order to save some money, I propose cutting the Universal Breakfast program. The only difference I have seen in my classroom is that I have less instructional time. More money is spent on unhealthy food and cleaning products and a massive amount of garbage is produced every day. Much food is wasted. The choices are generally unhealthy (Pop Tarts, Pizza bagels, Apple Jacks, etc...) which ties into the recent article concerning the large number of overweight CPS students. For all of these reasons, the money spent on this program could be applied elsewhere.

  • Hi anonalso, I wanted to correct a few facts for you. First, the Chicago Teachers Fund has not been draining the budget for years. In fact, from 1995-2005 the CPS did not put one penny into the fund because the investments were doing well. Instead they raided the pension for operating expenses. Teachers contribute about a quarter of the pension cost and are unable to collect social security. The average teacher gets a $39,000 a year pension. Anonalso, I am sure that you were crying for the poor underpaid teachers who were getting by on a 3% raise during the Clinton administration when other people's salaries were skyrocketing. This budget shortfall does not come from the teachers--it comes from financial mismanagement. Daley takes $250,000,000 out of the school's property tax funds every year for his TIF fund. If we're going to start reevaluating finances then let's start with that. Huberman has been brought in as a hatchet man just as he was with the CTA. He certainly wasn't put into this job for his educational experience or know how.

    Joe for CORE

  • In reply to CPSJoe:

    CORE needs to look at the larger picture Let me make note of a few items of import.
    1. Teachers cannot collect social security, true, but they get MUCH more from their pension than they would get from social security. In Chicago, teachers get approximately 80% of their salary average from the last four years of work.
    2. $39,000 is misleading. Teachers who retire at 55 with 34 years of experience get much, much more than this. A full retirement pension would average at $64,000. Compare that to social security. And principal pensions are topping out at over $100,000.
    3. Regardless of economic conditions teachers have been getting a minimum of 3% per year for many years. If they were to get a 0% raise, most teachers would still get increases due to lane and step increases.
    4. For those of us who live in this city, TIPs have been an economic gift. Without them our business strips would be dead. There are huge benefits to city neighborhoods through TIF dollars, huge benefits.
    5. Finallly, again, the deficit is not due to fiscal mismanagement, it is due to the fact that the state underfunds public education and with the economic downturn, districts all over the country are experiencing severe economic problems.
    Huberman may be a budget guy but this problem is not an invented problem. It is serious, it is real and it is overwhelming. We need real solutions to this very real problem. Even if that means looking at our pensions, or at least pension plans for newly hired teachers.

  • In reply to retiredtoo:

    1. 34 years in the city schools and paying in every year does leave you with a pretty good pension. Sadly, in my time teaching in urban schools I haven't known a lot of people who could make it the whole 34 years. Teachers negotiated the pension in lieu of salary--I don't think we disagree on this. As for principals they're not teachers nor are they members of the CTU.

    2. The lane increase is severely overrated. By paying $10K - 20K for a masters degree you can get a salary boost of 2-3K. As for the step increase, in one breath you talk about all the teachers retiring with 34 years of service and then the next you talk about how most of the teachers have less than 13 years experience when the step increases end.

    3. I am glad that the $30 million plus that went to move airline offices downtown have made your life better. The French Market in the Olgive Transportation Center has amazing muffins, but those two expenditures are $40,000,000 that should have gone to the school children of Chicago.
    4. $700 million in outside contracts, an increase in $120,000+ a year bureaucrats since Huberman took office, and a pension plan severely mismanaged by one of Daley's relatives. I don't blame the state for any of that.

  • The problem with your little scenario is that charters and AUSL schools don't decrease drop out rate, they increase it. Somehow that little fluff piece on Urban Prep left out the fact that those 107 seniors who got accepted to college started in a class of 155. The other students? They were mostly kicked out and sent to Robeson. As for 100% graduation acceptance--when you make that a graduation requirement it isn't hard to do. Schools like Columbia College (and I'm not knocking it) have open enrollment. This is not the same as college attendance and is basically the equivalent of a grammar school bragging about 100% high school acceptance.

    Joe from CORE

  • Agreed. There is a total lack of fund and we've been over-spending, much like all of America. What is so Draconian about saying we need to spend in line with what we've got to spend? Yeah, it stinks. Keeping to a pathetically small budget always does.

  • Bilingual ed should be approached in a new way. We're native-English speakers and at first I was concerned that my daughter was in a bilingual taught class. But it basically means the teacher is bilingual and can flip into Spanish when ESL students are struggling. Most of the class is taught in English.
    Now I think it was a brilliant move on the part of the school. More & more of the younger teachers have a second language, why aren't we using to full advantage since most every study shows that services given in the regular class are far superior to those students are pulled out of instruction time for?

  • Huberman at Wed press briefing:

    "We're not in the business of scare tactics. We have less than two weeks before we have to load budgets. We're just being honest."

  • There is a solution to the pension issue without all the acrimony I am seeing on this blog. CPS can restructure much of what it currently owes the fund into long term debt.

    According to the last CPS audited annual report (June 30 2009) CPS debt is rated A+, currently the CPS has running out to 2037 $8.9 billion in long term debt (annual report page 124). The Illinois School Code imposes a legal limit on CPS debt. That legal limit is 13.8% on the ratio of the total outstanding property tax supported debt that CPS may borrow compared with CPS

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Thank you, Rod. This is exactly the course CPS should pursue and the stakeholders (CTPF, CTU) should support.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Great posts by both Rod and 7:47. I wish more young teachers would learn their history. There's a lot that teachers take for granted that older teachers really had to fight for.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I know this blog is only for cranks of certain stripe . . . but really guys . . . virtually every local government in the country is tanking and there are people who comment here who deny the existence of a crisis . . . As Estevan makes clear, the books are open . . . read them.

    I don't know the practicality of Estevan's suggestion, but I see some problems: You want the City taxpayers to fund long term debt to pay the pension, to fund a tax levy for the pension (at the expense of the classroom) and then to guarantee it loses nothing in the future ("within certain limits") all while they are also funding down state teachers pensions through their income tax.

    There is an arrogant and unjustified sense of entitlemetn in that that's really difficult to stomach. Perhaps its that, after all is said and done, this fleecing of City taxpayers still leaves them with a school system with teachers who way too often blame students for not getting educated and with too many teachers who think that producing a student body in which only 14% meet or exceed standards is an okay day at the office. Oh and by the way, that still leaves something on the order of a $500 million hole in the budget (a mere 10% of the entire budget).

    Get real folks . . . doomsday IS here and rather than looking for conspirators on the grassy knoll or calling the truth "scare tactics" and "threats", teachers need to pony to get this thing resolved for the benefit of everyone.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    The city of Chicago negotiated with the teachers to arrive at the current deal. The City freely entered into this deal and freely agreed to the pension funding plan. Anyone could have predicted that the economy would eventually hit a recession (it's a normal part of the business cycle) and it is the job of negotiators to think of these possibilities.

    In fact I would imagine the administration did think of this possibilities and figured, oh well, if the worst happens, we'll cry crisis and get relief.

    That's not the way it happens in real life. You make a bad deal? You live with it. A promise is a promise and pensions are guaranteed by the IL state constitution. The teachers would be naive to give them up.

    Does that take teachers off the hook? Of course not, there will be layoffs, and they will cut deep. This is allowed under the agreement.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Dear CPS employees and CPS retirees, there is a "shell bill", SB3535-Public Employee Benefits-Tech, sponsored by Senator Kwame Raoul on 3-12-2010 and placed on the calendar order of 3rd reading on 3-15-2010. This bill will amend 40ILCS 5/17-127 from ch. 108 1/2, par. 17-29. The synopsis states, "Amends the Chicago Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code. Changes references from "Board of Education" to "Chicago Board of Education" and from "Board" to "Pension Board". Effective immediately. Why is this bill important? When this "shell bill" is finished (filled out), it will include the following: Reduce the pension payments that the Chicago Public Schools have to pay the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund for 2011, 2012, 2013 and extend paying the total debt that CPS owes CTPT from 2045 to 2059! CPS would not pay the $587 million in 2011 that it owes CTPF, CPS would only pay $187 million. CPS would not pay the $603 million in 2012 that it owes CTPF, CPS would only pay #194 million. CPS would not pay the $620 million in 2013 that it owes CTPF, they would only pay $200 million. CPS would extend the time to pay the total debt from 2045 to 2059 to pay into the CTPF to make sure that it is 90% funded. NEW EMPLOYEES- defined benefit pension, but the pension would be less, higher retirement age,lower COLA and pay state income tax on pension. CURRENT EMPLOYEES- raise employee contribution rate to pension, higher retirement age, lower benefits, lower COLA and pay state income tax on pension. CURRENT RETIREES- lower COLA and pay state income tax on pension. SB3535 MUST BE DEFEATED! P.S.- Don't forget, your health care cost will be going up each year anyway! If the General Assembly doesn't allow the CTPF to spend more money on our health care (by passing HB4826) you will be receiving letters from the CTPF in July 2011 explaining that you will have to pay a higher cost for your health insurance for next year!

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    Our pension plus salary is a smaller percentage of the district revenue than it was a decade ago. You can abuse us all you want--we are used to it--but it doesn't change the fact that the district leadership is acting like there are only two things in the budget--student programs and teacher compensation--when there's a lot more like patronage contracts and weirdo politically charged experiments like IDS and charter schools. Or even just simple things, like "Why do our approved vendors charge us twice as much for equipment than it would cost me to buy myself, and if that's the case, why do we approve them?"

    It's possible that when we peel away the $355 million in fake deficit and the various corrupt pilfering of money, that there may still be a deficit and as teachers, of course we will put the students before ourselves.

    But why should we do that first? There's absolutely no evidence that without pressure, the non-education spending will be reined in.

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    While much of the Doomsday Budget is disturbing, I am thrilled that CPS is cutting all subsidies for summer school and night school. Hopefully kids will work a little harder to pass a class the first time now that summer school will be $350+ per course. These subsidies should never come back. Cheap and easy summer school just enabled failure.

  • It is the fire code that dictates: X bodies per N square feet. My classroom is small and putting 35 let alone 37 or 40 in it will be like a can of sardines. When schools get fined and have to go to court because of fire code violations, will Huberman be there to explain why?

  • $33 million which was cut from $65 million as it has been for the past 10 years. Now, the state of IL gave TRS $1.2 billion.

  • Wow, so much ignorance in such a short post.

    First, in past negotiations, the Board chose to give teachers additional benefit days rather than raise their pay. (And by the way, those of us with 13-17 years with the Board get 11 sick days per year; and those with 18 or more years get 12 sick days per year.)

    Second, the holidays are all mandated by the State of Illinois. Granted, the ISBE does allow some districts to seek waivers from having to observe all the days, but we got these days off through state law.

    Third, teachers and other school workers do not get "summer off." Regular teachers work a 38.6-week school year with two weeks paid vacation. We don't get paid for anything beyond that, unless we work summer school.

  • I find it amazing that "support it," who apparently is a teacher wants to cut his or her own throat in relation to retirement the benefit package. While it may be necessary for teachers to contribute more in the future, it is also necessary that a rational approach be taken to this issue.

    SB3535 as explained by Retired Principal is a disaster for the Fund and just carries debt out for ever. CPS needs to exit the pension fund bussiness by restructuring with the use of long term debt and thoughful legislation. My post of March 17 presents one approach.

    What I see coming from posters like "Support it," is simply a call to gut public sector workers pension funds because the private sector currently provides it workers with very little. Of course the CEO's, money managers, etc do provide themselves with very generous structured retirement schemes.

    With that type of logic the US population should be reduced to the basic retirement standards of China, where the assumption was retires would be required to live with their children and be dependent on them. But the single child policy of China is causing even this idea to collapse. The ratio of workers to retired people in China will decline from about six to one as it currently is to about two to one by 2040.

    Younger urban workers in China are forced into the an individual pension account, into which both the employee and his or her employer have to make a monthly contribution. The amount varies in different regions. The employee cannot withdraw any money from the account until he retires. Upon retirement, the worker receives a monthly stipend from the account which is no where near enough to survive on.

    Per capita income has risen elevenfold since the beginning of the reform era in China, but even taking into account differences
    in purchasing power, it is still just one-fifth the level
    in South Korea and one-ninth the level in the United
    States. All told, just 31 percent of China

  • I'm confused. If CPS teacher salary and pension costs are a smaller percentage of CPS expenses than they were 10 years ago, as Xian says, why are or should pensions be a thing of the past?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    They are a thing of the past because they are always the biggest bone of contention with the public and they are archaic. Many teachers of today are more into IRAs and other means of supporting retirement. Also, with the fact that CPS can terminate at will, many teachers are not on the job long enough for a pension to be effective in retirement, yet it could screw up one's Social Security (if earned). Therefore, it should go just away. I don't understand the issue with a tiered system so that those of you who have a lot in it can keep it, but those of us who don't can shove it...just saying.

  • In reply to judgejury81:

    Forgot one thing-It might also help us to increase public support if they see that we are willing to give up something so "big". I understand when others have said that the teachers before us fought hard for the things we have today, but we have to remember-the times, they are a-changing. (Dylan, 1964)(PS-that is one year after I was born.)

  • Hourly pay is not for afterschool activities. It is a flat rate. Anything other than our pay is pensionable. This means that we are the only system in Illinois where extra pay is not pensionable. I don't see you picking on the unfair policies that CPS teachers face. We do not put in to social security either. Pension I believe is calculated at the average of the last 4 years, not the 4 highest years. Most teachers spend several hours a week working for free in the building and outside as well. What mandatory overtime????? That is about as rare as the Cubs winning the World Series!

  • wbez's linda lutton follows up on the reactions to the doomdsday budget at the school level


  • I intended to say "not getting rich." Sorry about that. Shouldn't have had that second glass . . .

    I did show you the numbers and they come from the CTU contract. I'm not bashing teachers - and why personalize it by trying to demonize me? why not deal with the facts and argue from them?

    I am not advocating that teachers don't deserve a generous deal - I am trying to demonstrate what they have now by providing what I think is accurate comparative information to correct misperceptions and misinformation repeatedly reported on this blog. Apparently you don't like what that information shows - but it shows what it shows.

    Many teachers and the general public do not appreciate the really decent deal that CPS teachers have financially compared to other workers, professional and non-professional. And "professionals" in all other industries do not have the overtime and other opportunities for additional income added to their base salary or additional hourly earnings, that is, not without a second job. (Indeed, the inability to earn overtime is what distinguishes professionals, managers and executives from other employees.)

    There are many professionals who struggle, as, if not more,mightily than teachers to make ends meet, without the generous guarantees teachers have. It is not just the Walmart workers you denigrate. There are many social workers, psychologists, nurses, lawyers etc. who don't do nearly as well, especialy in the early years. Go into any private business office, professional office, bank, restaurant, Starbucks, nightclub, department store, etc. and many, if not all of the employees will be working on terms that are far less generous than teachers have. There are many comparably educated professionals and non-professionals who wait many years before they approach the CPS teachers' starting wage of $35.00 per hour - and that $35.00 does not go nearly as far because much more of it is taken to fund their retirement, which is Social Security, and their benefits.

    Research what others make and you'll find that salary sites report that the average wage for an RN in Illinois is $23.00 per hour; a social worker is $16.50 to $35.00 per hour; a public sector lawyers' median salary is $50,000 in Illinois (about $28.00 an hour for a 12-month employee); skilled craftsman who have completed apprenticeships are earning between $25 and $40 per hour (many of whom by the way participate in miserable Health and Welfare funds and pension funds with far greater challenges than CTPF.)

    Teachers do NOT have a bad deal.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Since you want to deal with facts, let's deal with all the facts.

    1. You are bashing teachers. Be honest with yourself and everyone else. There is not one comment that you have made that shows any support or respect for the hard work of Chicago Public School Teachers.

    2. You do not understand about the Pension Pick Up. It was, and is, not a raise. The Board of Education was not able to pay a raise many years ago. A raise becomes a permanent increase in salary. Up until that time, teachers paid 8% of their salary into the pension fund. The Board then agreed to pay 7% of the Teachers Pension payment instead of a raise. This would not be a permanent raise in the teachers base salary. Our salaries did not go up that year, the base salary stayed the same. The Teachers would now only pay 1% of their salary to the pension.

    The easiest way that I can explain what happened, teachers were allowed to keep more of their salary and paid less towards their pension. It was not a raise. I have had a problem with the way it is printed in the contract book because it is misleading.

    3. When you compare benefits and their costs, you are comparing apples and oranges. Many of my family members work in the private sector and when we talk about these areas, each company has a different benefits package and how it is calculated. The one size fits all approach that you used is not universal. I have been involved with local school budgets in the past. When a school is figuring the cost for a new teacher that is paid out of the school Chapter 1 funds, generally the figure for a $45,000 a year teacher is $15,000 to pay for their pension and health care cost. This adds up to $60,000 a year salary and benefits cost for a first year teacher. This is $5,000 less than the comparable private sector employee that you sited. Go to a Local School Council Meeting where they discuss the School Improvement Plan. When they discuss hiring a teacher paid out of the school's Chapter 1 (Discretionary Funds), you will hear the exact figures of how much money they allot for salary and benefit cost. For a first year teacher, it will be closer to the $60,000 figure not the $70,000 you estimated.

    4. You stated "That $70,000 equivalency is before any overtime is paid and before any summer school salary is paid." First year teachers rarely work either the after school programs or summer school program. Unless they teach in certain Special Education or Bilingual Education programs, they rarely are able to work in an after school or Summer School position. Also, the after school program is paid at a flat rate not the hourly rate. Summer School is also paid at 75% of the hourly rate, not the hourly rate.

    5. I agree that too many people are being abused financially by the greed of the business community today. Their is no way to justify the exorbitant salary and benefits paid to upper management while they exploit the hard work and dedication of the workers. The productivity of the American worker, including teachers, today is at it's highest level while their salary and benefits are constantly under attack and being decreased. The standard of living for all workers, including teachers, has been going down for the last ten to twenty years. This just plain wrong.

    6. You stated, "There are many professionals who struggle, as, if not more,mightily than teachers to make ends meet, without the generous guarantees teachers have." During my years as a teacher I have worked as a cook in a restaurant, in a factory on the packing line, as a messenger for a messenger service, as a landscaper, as a bank teller, as an electricians' helper, and as a Music Instructor for the Chicago Park District. I have had to work these jobs just to make ends meet. These jobs did not pay for vacations or luxuries, they paid to help keep the roof over our head.

    I am not saying that teachers have a bad deal, I am saying that teachers have to deal with the same hard financial realities as other workers. We pay the same bills and have the same expenses as everyone else.

    I would be glad to discuss this with you any time. All I ask that you show respect for the hard work that teachers do every day in improving the lives of the students that they teach.

    Also, it would help if you would identify yourself. It is easier to have a discussion when you know who you are talking too.

    John Moran
    CSDU Vice President Candidate

  • Yes, and if you extrapolate the actual hours we work each day and the unpaid overtime, and the combat pay, and the deterioration to our health and the fact that many of us paid a decade or more into social security and will never see that and the money for supplies, we make about 35 cents an hour. At just the amount of hours I worked my first year, approximately 5320 (95 hours/ 40 week +30 hours/12 weeks + 55 hours overtime and a half/ 40 weeks), I made about $9.40 an hour. I'm not counting pension pick-up because that's not real money until I can use it to pay my bills. If you do count it, you would have to convert it as deferred money. Don't forget to factor in the interest free loan the district gets on our salary each period. And I was 28, with 2 years teaching experience, 5 years in the field of education.

    Also, the "annual equivalency" is a misnomer. If I give a homeless person a dollar tomorrow morning at 7:00am and they put it in their pocket at 7:01am, does that make their "annual equivalent" earnings 525,600 dollars?

    Finally, what are you comparing us to? We are professionals with a professional degree. In some cases, our training for our profession is subpar, but the intricacy of the craft is much more similar to practicing medicine or law than it is to bagging groceries (I say with affection as someone who bagged groceries as cerebrally as a I could).

  • So much misinformation in this thread. Sigh.

    "Teachers will have to take a pay freeze."
    We have a contract with the Board. At the Board's insistence, this contract is for 5 years--the longest term contract in the Union's history. Granted, state law requires the contract to contain a loophole that lets the Board renege on its word in the case of a financial crisis, but the Board should have to open its books and prove that it cannot do what it has promised teachers and paraprofessionals.

    "Still, a 7% pick up in [sic] really really generous."
    If the Board were required to pay into the Social Security program for its employees (and let me make clear that teachers do not get Social Security), the employer contribution is 6.2%. This difference of 0.8% makes the Board "really really generous." Yeah, right.

    Finally, for those of you quibbling about hours, teachers earn an annual salary. We are not paid by the hour. Board policy (4-9b) clearly states that teachers are exempt employees under the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act and comparable state laws. We must "account for" the time we are required to be at our "attendance centers" (the 6.25 hours), but like all salaried positions, we are expected to do complete our job tasks no matter how long it takes.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    The Board pays more to the pension fund than pension pick up. If that were the only employer contribution, the Board would be in good shape.

    Also, social security recipient cannot collect full beneifts until age 67 and those beneifts pale in comparison to a 75% pension.

    Finally, your point on hourly pay is just wrong. Yes teachers are exempt employees. . . the only exempt employees in the world who get overtime pay. Read the contract . . .Article 44-41, Appendixes, 3-A, 3-F, 3-H etc. for starters.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Claims that CPS has done everything it can to reduce its deficit without impacting teachers and students in the classroom are false. I'd be glad to consider reopening the current CPS/CTU Agreement, but only after the following conditions are met. I'm sure others can come up with additional cost-saving measures and/or concessions to add to this list.

    (1) Classroom teachers last.
    Renegotiate every other current CPS contract first. CPS has $700 million in contracts. with private firms and consultants. That's obscene. There's still plenty of fat to be cut. I want their agreement with the CTU to be last one that is reconsidered. After all, there is no employee more important to education than the classroom teacher.
    (2) Ren2010.
    Stop opening new, privatized schools that are significantly more expensive in every case (yet no more effective on the whole) than tradtional neighborhood schools.
    (3) Symbolism means something.
    Give Huberman and other employees who currently receive leased vehicles and/or drivers standard mileage rates for use of their own cars instead. (A largely symbolic gestures, yes, but I think an important one.) And no, it is not proper to charge the mileage rate for commuting to and from work.
    (4) Central office cuts.
    Continue cutting jobs at the central offices. Even if the claimed 1,000 jobs have been cut downtown already, has any classroom teacher across the city been negatively affected by a smaller central office? Nope. Keep cutting right on down to a purely skeleton crew.
    (5) IDS.
    Eliminate IDS / High School Transformation at a cost of at least $30 million per year. In addition to being expensive it eliminates the professional autonomy of teachers, restricts school-based discretionary spending. What an embarrassment.
    (6) Redirect TIF money back into education.
    CPS must demand - not ask, demand - that the mayor alter TIF collections by directing money that would otherwise have gone to education back to education. Last year $250 million of education money went into TIFS. That's between 25% and 42% of the predicted deficit depending on which of the scary CPS numbers you believe. If the mayor is asking teachers to sacrifice than so must he. He'll still have hundreds of millions in TIF money to spend, and still without any public oversight or accountability.
    (7) Early retirement incentives.
    CPS and the state must offer a 5+5 early retirement option to teachers and administrators, a proven method for reducing annual salary obligations. CPS would save hundreds of millions.
    (8) Annual forensic audit.
    CPS must be willing to turn over all necessary documents and figures for annual forensic audits by a company of the Union's choosing. The Board has shown itself to be untrustworthy on so many occasions I am not comfortable taking the Board at its word when it comes to their budget deficit. I guarantee a panel of select teachers can trim the CPS budget fat without negative classroom impact more effectively than Board administrators and bureaucrats.
    (9) Budget audit committee
    Thanks, Mr. Estvan, for pointing out the absence of a CPS budget audit committee and a lack of anything resembling budget transparency. CPS must institute a public committee with monthly open and public meetings. The meetings must take place in the evenings, not during the work day as the Board of Ed does to inhibit public participation. And no secret or closed sessions. All financial materials of the committee must be made available to the public.
    (10) Board of Education changes.
    Create two spots on the Board of Education with full voting rights for Union appointed, current classroom teachers - one elementary, one high school. And pay those teachers the same stipend the bigwigs receive. There is a student member of the Board (minus voting rights), but no teacher representation.
    (11) Retain pensions.
    No changes to the current pensions system. None. No reduced benefits to current or future retirees, no two-tier system, no increased employee contributions, etc.

    Only after these items are complete - admittedly no small task - will I be willing to even remotely reconsider the Board's current contractual obligations to frontline educators. This is the minimum I am willing to accept before reopening a contract. And CPS and the state legislature had better be prepared for a further exchange of negotiated concessions; asking teachers to make concessions without concessions on the other side is absurd. So, be read for talk of residency requirements, class size bargaining rights, true professional autonomy, no merit pay based on test scores, teacher designed professional development, 60-day notice of cuts like they have in the suburbs, an evaluation system that must be approved by all CTU members, system wide seniority, etc.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    You want the Union . . . THE CTU . . . to watch the hen house? Didn't one of the officers show up at a picket line in floor length fur? Doesn't Stewart drive a top of the line car at members expense with satellite radio. These characters would make old man Daley blush. Go back to the drawing board.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Actually, I'd prefer the forensic audit and all accompanying financial information to be made available to any and all interested parties. But given that the CTU is our legally recognized bargaining unit, it seems a logical place to start.

    It would be better for all of us if the current CTU leadership is replaced this May, but let's not judge them on their fashion sense and status symbols. That's a bit sophomoric even for you.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Exactly why we need a leadership change in the CTU. But yes, teachers are much better to watch the hen house than the corporate foxes we have watching currently.

  • Teaching 6 classes? Mandatory or voluntary inservices? Aren't they part of teachers normal duties? Teachers get overtime for those.

    Social workers and psychologists don't get paid overtime for the work they do at night and on the weekends. Doctors and lawyers don't get overtime for preparing for trials after hours.

    It's part of being a professional.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    My brother is a lawyer and is paid his hourly rate for all of the attorney work he does. Extra work means more hours and more pay. My grandfather is a doctor - he is reimbursed by health insurance companies for the patients that he sees. The more patients he sees, the more he works, the more money he receives. According to your definition they are not professionals. How silly.

    Of course, the biggest difference we are talking about here is not professional vs. non-professional - it is union vs. non-union. Without our collective bargaining agreement many CPS employees would not have chairs, desks, phones, computers, or other essential items necessary to our jobs. (Read the whole contract - it's amazing what CPS has tried to put over on teachers and students.) Our youth would also be suffering from enormous class sizes and an even greater dearth of support for their educational needs. Despite the incompetence and collusion of my union leadership I am still a proud union member and a fierce supporter of collective bargaining - it really does improve both my working conditions and learning conditions for my students.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Now this is just getting silly . . . one of you says I and wrong to call what the contract plainly calls overtime "overtime pay" . . . another compares private sector professionals to public sector professionals . . .another fails to see the irony in "labor leaders" having a demonstration wrapped in fur . . . and yet another fails to recognize that whether it's Stewart or Lynch or CORE or Porter who holds the reins at CTU, they are no better (and probably alot worse) than the corrupt pols you decry. . . Stewart, the IFT and IEA buy off pols; if she has a successor, she will too. . . You scream about $700 million in contracts but has anybody looked to see what that's paying for? . . . I am guessing food, transportation, custodial services (which is 75% privatized at CPS), technology and the like (but nobody on this blog is saying so we just have to guess). . .You want teachers to run the place but forget that ONCE they did run the place and produced a public education system that was near bankrupt both financially and academically . . . The discouraging silliness here is that most of the posters have lenses that only see in black and white, when CPS and all the adults who work in it are entirely grey, but who mostly, I think, really want the system to succeed.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    I thought what was silly was you being abrasive to everyone for no reason. I think the beauty of the classroom is the civility we interject into our dealings with our students.

    I don't see anywhere that someone "failed to see the irony" in wearing fur to a demonstration--I think most of us agree. The response was that transparency tends to be an improvement in all situations and that was worth more of a focus than conspicuous consumption. But that's a constructive suggestion, so you--as is your style--chose to ignore it to mock the poster.

    Some of us have looked at the $700 million even going as far as the board reports--of course it just highlights the point that the budget is rather murky on the issue. Yes, it pays for services and commodities, but that doesn't explain why they are more untouchable than classroom instruction.

  • In reply to DebateMan:

    Yeah I guess I am a cranky and abrasive old codger. But I have tried not to shade the truth or leave a false impression in any of my postings here. That others do makes me crankier and more abrasive.

    "Teachers don't get overtime . . . they just get extra pay for teaching longer . . ." If you can't say it without blushing, you shouldn;t write it here.

    And the $700 million in contracts . . .Xian concedes that there are necessary goods and services in there that directly benefit students and schools, like transportation, food, custodial services and technology . . . but that's the first he said it. To hear him tell it in all prior posts, you'd think there was $700 million in payments to fat cats all for a corrupt purpose. For all we know, the entirety of it is to the direct benefit of students and schools. But that hasn't stopped attempts to prematurely portray the entirety of it in a plainly false light . . .

    The continuous attacks on TIFs are myopic. Yes, education funding is in the toilet, but that does not mean that every other initiative to improve the City must cease. Sure Daley deserves some criticism, but he has administered this City better than anyone of his immediate predecessors and that administration has made this City a better place to live for everyone. Many of the posters here were probably 10 and under when Byrne was mayor. Washington showed great promise but was thwarted by racists and died just as he was beginning to get traction. Sawyer . . . was well meaning.

    Daley is of a different character altogether. He had and has a vision for every part of this City that he has moved to implement with an iron fist. He understands better than anyone how disonnected issues impact one another and sees the forest, not just the trees. He has been very adept at using the administration of several public agencies and their powers to achieve cohesive goals - which have generally benefitted this City. This City is much better off now than when he took office. . . and I don't think anyone can seriously contend otherwise. . .oh, but a lot of contentions are made on this blog that I didn't think could be made serioiusly . . . so I expect to hear more.

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