Geneva School Board Releases Its Most Recent Contract Offer; Special Meeting Monday

The Geneva District 304 Board of Education has released a document that clarifies all aspects of the offer it put on the table Friday.

The Geneva Board of Education has released details of its most recent offer to the Geneva Education Association.

The "official copy," posted Thursday afternoon in PDF form on the Geneva School District's negotiations webpage, indicates that the School Board and GEA negotiators were "close to an agreement" or "reached tentative agreement" on every issue except salaries, sharing the cost of "release time" for union negotiators and a clause that asks non-union teachers to pay a "fair share" of union dues.

The board characterized these issues as close to resolution or resolved: tuition reimbursement, retirement, health insurance, sick leave, involuntary transfer, progressive discipline, extending the work day, supervisory duty, security cameras and special education.

Also on Thursday afternoon, the board sent notice of a special School Board meeting, which takes place at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at the Coultrap facility.

The limited agenda includes a public comments opportunity prior to adjournment to executive session.

Prior to Thursday afternoon, both sides had summarized the salary deals that were on the table at the end of Friday's 12-hour negotiations session, but the language of the explanations was different in the GEA and the School Board summaries.

Here's the School District's salary offer, as worded in the School Board's most-recent offer:

Salary Schedule

Historically, teachers have been paid according to their placement on the teacher salary schedule. The salary schedule is organized around steps and lanes. Each step represents one year of employment in the District and a salary increase of 2.65%; a lane represents completed graduate coursework and salary increases vary by lane. Salaries increase as a teacher moves a step (down the salary schedule) and/or a lane (across the salary schedule).


 Salary freeze for all teachers except:

  • teachers who qualify for lane advancement based on completed graduate coursework will be permitted to move to the appropriate lane on salary schedule (36 teachers)
  • teachers who have submitted a retirement notice over the past three years but prior to August 15, 2012 (57 teachers)


  • 1.65% added to each cell on the salary schedule; beginning teacher salary increase $39,651 to $40,305; teachers who qualify for lane advancement may move one (1) lane.


  • 2.75% added to each cell on the salary schedule; beginning teacher salary increases $40,305 to $41,413; teachers who qualify for lane advancement may move one (1) lane.


Prior to Thursday afternoon, neither side had said much about where the retirement issue stood. The teachers union "Final Offer" posted Oct. 23 had called for three years of 6 percent salary increases prior to retirement.

The board's proposal calls for generous salary increases prior to retirement for the next three years, but a "sunset" of that benefit when the new contract expires in August 2015.

The offer likely would act as an incentive for higher-paid teachers to take retirement before the offer goes away.

Here's the board's Oct. 26 offer, as published:

An eligible teacher submitting a retirement notice by a predetermined date in the 2012/2013 school year and who intends to retire at the end of the 2014/2015 school year will receive the following salary increases:

  • 2012/2013: 6% increase over their prior year’s salary
  • 2013/2014: 3% increase over their prior year’s salary
  • 2014/2015: increase based on the 2013/2014 average teacher salary increase

An eligible teacher submitting a retirement notice by a predetermined date in the 2013/2014 school year and who intends to retire at the end of the 2014/2015 school year will receive the following salary increases:

  • 2013/2014: 6% increase over their prior year’s salary
  • 2014/2015: 3% increase over their prior year’s salary

An eligible teacher submitting a retirement notice by a predetermined date in the 2014/2015 school year and who intends to retire at the end of the 2014/2015 school year will receive the following salary increases:

  • 2014/2015: 6% increase over their prior year’s salary

GEA Release Time

Board Proposal – Oct. 26, 2012:

Currently, release time is provided to the GEA union President during the school day to meet with District administration to discuss issues of common concern, generally represent the interests of the union and engage in any other union activities. Under the Agreement that expired in August, the President of the GEA or designee had daily release time up to 70% of his or her regular work load. Most recently, the GEA has allocated the GEA President 50% release time and the GEA Vice President 20% release time. The GEA does not compensate the District for this release time.

  • 2012/2013: No Change
  • 2013/2014: Reduce release time from .70 to .60 FTE; GEA reimburses the District 25% of the beginning teacher salary rate in place in 2013/2014
  • 2014/2015: Reduce release time from .60 to .50 FTE; GEA reimburses the District 50% of the beginning teacher salary rate in place in 2014/2015

Union Dues (Fair Share) for Non-Union Teachers

Board Proposal – Oct. 26, 2012:

The union is proposing the addition of “fair share” language to the contract. At the present time, Geneva teachers are not required to join the GEA, and the union does not have the ability to assess non-members a “fair share” fee for representing their interests in collective bargaining matters.

The Board is opposed to adding “fair share” language to the contract.


Related Articles


  • Reports: GEA Members Authorize Strike; Nov. 9 Earliest Possible Strike
  • Geneva Teachers Express Frustration Over Stalled Negotiations
  • UPDATE: Geneva School Board Calls Special Meeting to Discuss Teacher Negotiations
  • Is a Teachers' Strike Possible in Geneva? Green Buttons Show Solidarity on First Day of School
  • Patch Poll: How Much of An Increase Should Geneva Teachers Get?
  • Batavia Teachers Get Raises in New Two-Year Contract; Geneva Still Negotiating
  • Where Do You Stand on the Geneva Teachers' Union Negotiations?
  • Geneva Teachers Expected to Picket Before Tuesday School Board
  • State Teachers Union Announces Geneva Talks at Impasse
  • UPDATE: Geneva Teachers Union Posts Its 'Final Offer'
  • District 304: GEA's 'Final Offer' Calls for 18% Salary Hike in Final 3 Years Before Retirement
  • Teacher Talks Resume Friday; Here's the Timeline If an Agreement Isn't Reached
  • Geneva School Board's 'Final Offer' Made Public
  • Geneva Teachers Give Notice of Intent to Strike
  • School Board: Union's 'Rigid Stance' Kept Parties Apart for Months; GEA Responds
  • Patch Poll: Which Offer Is More Fair to Teachers and Taxpayers?
  • UPDATE—Geneva School Board: GEA Filed Intent to Strike While Sitting at Negotiations Table
  • Geneva School District Outlines Plans in Case of Teacher's Strike
  • GEA Posts Open Letter to Geneva Citizens



Want to stay up to date on the negotiations issue?

Sue J November 01, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Why is the BOE requesting reimbursement from the GEA at a beginning teacher's salary? I think it should be at the salary rate of the president that is in that position at the time. Personally, I don't think we should be paying for this at all!
Tom November 02, 2012 at 03:26 AM
BoE, thank you for the long hours you are putting in here. That said, the time has come to stop offering more. I'm not at all happy about letting the upcoming retirees 'spike' their pensions. It has no benefit to the educational process. Step raises need to be phased OUT, not phased back in after 3 years.
Robert Jr. November 02, 2012 at 03:36 AM
I am completely against the practice of spiking salaries - it is fraudulent, and it misrepresents the costs to tax payers, all based on a forced agreement, through racketeering of the union, using threats of retaliation. At this point, if a fair deal is not accepted, then start replacing.
Kay C. Brown November 02, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Bring some balance to the negotiation. Show your support for the BOE for all your neighbors to see. If you: 1) believe home is the most important factor in a school's success and 2) feel the GEA is overreaching in its contract negotiation with Geneva 304, then mount a book on the mailbox at your house, take a photo and upload it to http://www.facebook.com/Balance304, or at least "like" the Facebook page. We just started this in Mill Creek tonight.
Ed November 02, 2012 at 11:43 AM
I don't like the new offer, sorry. We gave in to the salary freeze, the release time and retirement. I think we move more than half way. If the teachers don't jump on this they are totally crazy.
Julie November 02, 2012 at 12:03 PM
BOE-NO MORE CHANGES! Give them an inch and they are going to take a mile. Like small children, anytime you give in after this point, they are never going to stop until they get what they were originally asking for, or close to it. You have so much community support, please don't throw that away. At this point, the Union might be very happy w/your offer but simply won't take it because it will look like they lost..and that is probably a pretty hard pill to swallow for them. PLEASE...NO MORE BETTER OFFERS THAN YOU'VE GIVEN! It's now a game...and we must win!
Kathy November 02, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Please draw the line in the sand BOE, you have our support! The offer you have made is more than generous. Thanks for all your hard work!
Arthur Dietrich November 02, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Ed, I completely agree with you. I think the BOE is being a bit overly generous at this point to reach a settlement. It seems this offer gives in to 100 seasoned teachers and ups the first year teacher salary so the district can attract new teachers to stay "competitive." This should be the final offer. If they union doesn't accept this, then they are totally wheels off. I wish someone came to me with this contract I sign it in a New York second.
EnoughAlready November 02, 2012 at 03:26 PM
If you have an opinion, PLEASE communicate your concerns to the BOE as well: board@geneva304.org Without constant community feedback the BOE may back off of their "stay strong" policy. BOE DO NOT GIVE IN TO GEA!
Max November 02, 2012 at 04:15 PM
The BoE's current offer is just too much of a giveaway. But now we are stuck with it, I suppose. DO NOT GIVE ANOTHER INCH!
Lisa P November 02, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I just emailed several friends/neighbors about the Geneva Patch and provided the Board email address ...many people are not aware of the ongoing discussion happening here on the Geneva Patch (some aren't aware of the Patch at all). Please share links, salary info, whatever you can! They can make up their own minds; I think most will agree with the prevailing arguments.
Julie November 02, 2012 at 04:31 PM
@Max....or anyone who can answer this question: Does the latest and greatest offer from the BOE replace all other offers? Meaning, when the GEA balks at the most recent offer, can the BOE say, "you know what..we've been more than fair and now we will only settle w/our original offer because we know you are now playing a game...and we're not interested in playing." This is hypothetical of course, but I was just curious. I also agree to have some replacements in order by the end of the day TODAY! I welcome them with open arms at this point. Jill-As a product of 304 schools, I had only a handful of excellent teachers. Of these, I took some very important lessons, one of which was to stand up for yourself and let no one back you in to a corner...which is exactly what the 304 teachers are allowing to be done to themselves. Another lesson was to speak up for yourself, you are your only true advocate! Wake up, teachers...you are being USED. Don't let others tell you how it is, how it should be and how it will end up. In the end, you've got to be responsible for your own actions, or lack thereof!
Cody November 02, 2012 at 04:56 PM
First off I believe the reason the BOE called for a special meeting on Monday night was to review what the GEA last offered. I don't believe anyone has seen that offer yet, nor do I think we should until the deal is done. As for pulling back an offer, I think the BOE has done that sometime throughout this process and that is what has driven the GEA to act like they have. It has been the position of the BOE to play hardball from day one. I don't think they taken the GEA as serious about a strike threat from the beginning. That being said, I also think the GEA is being pushed hard to follow through with the strike from the IEA to prove a point that they will not back down. SAD on both parts :-(
Dan November 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Food for Thought----- http://www.chicagonow.com/dennis-byrnes-barbershop/2011/12/illinois-teachers-routinely-threaten-to-abandon-students-to-sweeten-their-contracts/ More Food for Thought---- Same problems different solutions by a school board http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/07/Douglas-County-CO-School-District-Role-Model-for-the-Nation
Mike November 02, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I'll tell you what's sad - the GEA doesn't seem to remember what an ally they have had in this board over the years. The IEA comes in and starts riling up the troops. Doesn't take more than a few weeks to destroy a relationship that took years to build. Then the IEA will move on to the next town
Dan November 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM
The state is insolvent, Hence there is a push to shift teacher pension cost onto municipalities that will increase property taxes in a big big way including eating away at any school reserves. All of this plays into the current district negotiations with the teachers union. Not only will the cost of any new negotiated salary and benifit increases be bore by the parent and taxpayer, but so wil the pension movement cost to the district. All of this as stated will impact property taxes and school fees in a big big way. With this in mind is the school board's negotiating team acting in the best interest of the parents, kids and taxpayers or is the teacher's union negotiating team acting in the best interest of the parents, kids and the taxpayers. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-13/news/chi-illinois-senate-president-no-vote-on-pension-reform-until-january-20120913_1_pension-reform-cost-shift-pension-costs http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-08-29/s-and-p-lowers-illinois-credit-rating-over-pensions
Lisa P November 02, 2012 at 06:22 PM
@Dan, Good article and a great model for our district.
Max November 02, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I believe the BoE can take any position it feels will get the job done. If it wants to declare negotiations finished and lock-out the teachers, it can do that. There are tough calls yet to be made on both sides. The community seems solidly, and uncharacteristically, behind the BoE's position of not giving in to the State-level union's bomb-throwers who are pushing GEA to lengths its members would rather not go. Most of the local teachers are holding their breath and hoping it will somehow end without a strike and the resulting animosity which inevitably attends such things in a tight-knit community like ours. It's too bad that GEA teachers are willing to risk being unable to look their neighbors in the eye tomorrow, rather than choosing to stand up to their union leadership today.
Anthony November 02, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Can I come to substitute for a day in District 304 and ask for a retirement spike? Being retired, no one offered me "spikes to retire". I'll get 1.7% SS raise to be partially eaten up by rise in Medicare. But it is totally gone with the "projected" or is it guaranteed increase in my real estate taxes next year. As my real estate taxes rise my home value decreases so the argument for a better salaries for teachers to attract higher home values is a kin to the Bush tax cuts creating more jobs. Stop giving our tax money away. The fact we were over taxed for years resulted in this attitude of entitlement due to the excessive reserve balance. Abate the balance now and reduce our debt load.
pumpkin November 05, 2012 at 04:54 PM
After reviewing the BOE's final offer, can anyone explain just what "1.65% added to each cell on the salary schedule" means? What exactly is a cell on the salary schedule?


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