The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

July 3, 2013

D118 board ratifies contract

DANVILLE — After much heated discussion, Danville District 118 school board members voted 5-2 to ratify a new contract for the district’s teachers, teaching assistants, secretaries and learning resource clerks during a special meeting Wednesday night.

Board members Steve Bragorgos and Frank Young cast the dissenting votes.

The Danville Education Association membership voted Thursday to ratify the new three-year contract by a 94 percent majority.

At the beginning of the meeting, Young made a motion to amend Wednesday night’s agenda to postpone voting on the contract, with Bragorgos seconding the motion by speaker phone. Bragorgos has been stationed in Kosovo for the past year with the U.S. Army.

Young said he wanted to postpone the meeting until Bragorgos was back home and could vote in person on the contract.

Young also added he felt that by calling a special meeting the night before a holiday, the district was hastily voting on the contract and “burying” board members’ concerns with the proposed pact.

“I don’t think it’s a good contract for the community,” Young said. “It’s important to continue it (meeting) so he (Bragorgos) can be part of the discussion and participate.”

Bragorgos said he had concerns about the terms of the contract — particularly that the district will pay for dependent insurance coverage if both parents are district employees when the same benefit is not extended to single employees with dependents — and believed there needed to be “more dialog on the issues” and “a more thorough discussion.”

“The insurance piece is a recipe for disaster,” he said, referring to when the DEA begins to help administering the insurance plan in 2015. “There are a lot of details that need to be developed now, not deferred.”

Board members Dr. Randal Ashton and Gina McGuire, however, disagreed.

“I sympathize with Steve being in Kosovo, but if this was settled in March, you still wouldn’t be here,” Ashton said.

“This certainly isn’t due to lack of discussion,” Ashton said. “We have been discussing this all along.

“Sometimes I haven’t been here and I haven’t been privy to everything, but that’s the process,” he continued. “We deliberated as a board and we made a decision as a board. I’m opposed to prolonging this.”

McGuire agreed, saying board members had spent innumerable hours during the past year discussing and reviewing material to craft an agreement and said Bragorgos was privy to the same materials and should have asked questions sooner if he had concerns.

Board member Darlene Halloran, who was part of the district’s negotiating team, said the public has been voicing their opinion to her.

“The community members want this contract done,” she said.

Citing a study of eight Danville companies that gave their employees with a bachelor’s degree a pay raise of 2.6 to 2.9 percent in the past year, Halloran said, “I believe our contract is fair, and they’re (teachers) getting less of a pay raise than their counterparts in the community.”

Bragorgos cut off Halloran, interjecting, “I’m concerned about other details of the contract” and said that discussions in the last closed session “were rushed.”

“The (teacher) raise is certainly more than the average in Danville,” he added.

Young concurred. “We have to consider what professionals get and what the community can afford.

“I can’t tell you how greedy some people think this is,” Young said.

“The contract is fiscally irresponsible,” he added. “Money wasn’t discussed until after the (school board) election. Local homeowners are going to pay more tax if we pass this (contract).

“I would have liked to have seen air conditioning in all of the schools, so we can have year-round school (rather than pay raises),” he said.

“It’s a great deal for them, but it’s a bad deal for the community,” Young said. “The taxpayers are going to pay the brunt of this.”

Ashton said, “None of us got what we wanted and it’s caused a rift on the board. But we’re trying to retain and recruit the best teachers, and this contract will do that.”

Superintendent Mark Denman said he was pleased the DEA and the district could reach a fair agreement during “very difficult financial times and a poor state economy.”

“Neither side got all that they wanted but still felt it was a fair compromise,” he said.

The new contract includes compensation for employees represented by the DEA, a longer school day, a change in the way employee health insurance is administered and a continuation of the 6 percent retirement incentive, which is paid to teachers who opt to take early retirement but not the state’s early retirement program.

A total of 449 certified employees and 206 non-certified employees have been working without a new contract since the last contract expired June 30, 2012.

The new three-year contract — the result of merging the teacher, teaching assistant, secretary and learning resources clerk contracts into one pact — is retroactive to July 1, 2012 and expires June 30, 2015.

The highlights of the contract include:

Text Only
Local News
  • Artists can sell artwork

    July 27, 2014

  • Children’s show auditions set

    July 27, 2014

  • Upward Bound still opens path to college Nervous but determined, the 15-year-old boy walked into a conference room in Columbus, Ohio, for a fateful interview. If it went well, perhaps he’d have a chance to be the first member of his impoverished family to attend college.That was 34 years ag

    July 27, 2014

  • Tilton Redneck Games Today9:30 a.m. — Church services, Stage10:30 a.m. — Mud Bog Registration opens11:30 a.m. — Mud Volleyball, Beer Tent, Vendors and Kidz Zone opensNoon — Toilet seat pitching contestNoon — Tug of War grudge match, Mud Bogs start1:30 p.m. — Hotdog eatin

    July 27, 2014

  • Monical's to rebuild Tilton restaurant TILTON — Local residents could be enjoying Monical’s pizza in Tilton by the end of this year.Monical’s corporate officials issued a press release Friday outlining the rebuilding of the restaurant that was damaged by fire on April 24.According to the

    July 27, 2014

  • Dr kakarla.jpg On the mend OAKWOOD — As a mechanic, Charles “Chip” McArty thought he could fix anything … until he was diagnosed with cancer.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleThursdayBattery in the 1000 block of Walnut Street.FridayTheft of a cell phone in a box case valued at $400 taken from the Days Hotel, 77 N. Gilbert St.Danville female arrested in connection with retail th

    July 27, 2014

  • APTOPIX Mideast Israe_Morr.jpg Israel extends truce with Hamas BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip — Israel on Saturday extend a 12-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war by four hours, the longest lull in 19 days of Israel-Hamas fighting, as a Gaza health official said the overall number of Palestinians killed surpassed 1

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Friday, 4:51-4:58 p.m. – Medical call in the unit block of East Main Street.Friday, 6:07-6:15 p.m. – Medical call in the 1200 block of Cleveland Street.Friday, 8:59-9:11 p.m. – Medical call in the 100 blo

    July 27, 2014

  • Patient: 'It's a speed bump' in life OAKWOOD – Charles McArty doesn’t moan about his two bouts of cancer, including when he was a child.

    July 27, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Must Read