Raises are costing District 203 extra cash when teachers retire. At their most recent meeting, the Board of Education discussed payments made to the Teachers Retirement System. Over the past two years, the district paid almost $150,000 in fees.
In 2005 the Illinois General Assembly passed a law saying if districts give teachers a raise of more than six percent in a year, in the four years before retirement, the districts would have to pay when that teacher retires to cover the increased pension cost.
District staff say that a majority of teachers received a higher salary because they did more work, like coaching, bus duty, or teaching writing over summer.
“Because it’s the final four years before retirement, if someone retires we can’t go back four years and undo what was done,” said Dave Zager, Chief Financial Officer for District 203. “We can’t reverse and pay them.”
Board members suggested checking with other school districts to see if there’s a way to avoid the fees.
“We have to do a better job of finding some way in cooperation with our friends on the collective bargaining board to make sure we’re not paying extravagant costs because that just limits what we have to pay all the teachers,” said Dave Weeks, a board member.
District 204 paid less than $90,000 in fees during the past two years.
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