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Plainfield District 202 Board Rejects Raises for Administrators, Non-Union Support Staff

Board members cite uncertainty in state and federal funds when denying 2.5 percent, retroactive raises.

Citing uncertainty in state and federal funding coupled with an operating fund deficit, Plainfield School District 202 board members rejected a proposal to give raises to administrators and non-union, non-certified support staff.

The 2.5 percent raises, retroactive to the 2012-13 school year, would have affected 160 staff members including assistant superintendents, directors, principals, assistant principals and support staff members who are not covered under the Plainfield Association of Support Staff (PASS) union contract.

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The proposal would have cost the district $315,000 and was included in the budget, said Angela Smith, the district’s assistant superintendent for business and operations.

Supt. John Harper, who is under contract, would not have been affected by the raises.

Harper said the administration and the support staff have been asked “to do more with less,” and because the raises were already built into the budget, they would not have contributed to a deeper deficit.

But the majority of the school board said state and federal funding is too uncertain right now to be approving raises.

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President Roger Bonuchi, Vice-President Michelle Smith and board members Kevin Kirberg, Greg Nichols and Rod Westfall all voted against raises for administrators and non-union, non-certified support staff.

Board member Michael Kelly voted in favor of raises for both administrators and non-union, non-certified support staff.

Board Secretary Eric Gallt abstained from voting on raises for administrators but voted in favor of raises for non-union, non-certified support staff.

“It seems we are putting ourselves at risk to lose administration,” Kelly said.

Gallt added that members of the teachers and support staff unions received raises this year.

Other board members said that while they appreciate the hard work the administrators and support staff does, a raise isn’t financial feasible right now.

“I think they deserve it,” Bonuchi said. “But I can’t in good conscience do that in our financial position.”

Bonuchi noted that the general state aid may decrease next year costing the district millions of dollars, and the district will have to pay back $1 million in taxes now that Edward Hospital received a tax-exempt charitable status.

“District 202 is a family from our students to our superintendent,” Bonuchi said. “It’s hard to say no to this.”’

Bonuchi added he feels that there are better times ahead when the district will not be in the red.

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Lisa S. February 17, 2013 at 02:38 AM
If you factor in the increase that those private sector jobs saw in health care contributions and other concessions, most did not see an increase.
jono100 February 17, 2013 at 05:54 AM
375 k???? What's a starting teacher get???around 28k what's wrong here?
dan mchugh February 17, 2013 at 07:36 AM
315/160/52=38.00+ is the raise these folks would get. WOW I pay 8000.00 + in taxes with no kids in district and they cant find a way to give the support staff this small bump in pay? However they will find a way to give Edward a million next year. Maybe the staff can give back 45.00 each week so we can make sure the rich owners of Edward remain rich. Im sure theyre dying on the vine withering away without that refund. The support staff.probably wont mind not at all!!! Just kidding I would much rather see Edward donate that million to the district . Makes sense to me.;-)
David Medow February 21, 2013 at 04:27 AM
As the Pastor of St. Mary Immaculate Parish, I am shocked that an anonymous writer can post such an uninformed and dishonest comment about Mike Kelly. Mike is not responsible for causing financial problems at our parish. In fact, he is the President of our Parish Finance Board and has been a leader both in public and private at the parish and been a great asset to help the parish address and emerge from financial challenges that were not caused by any one person or any one set of circumstances. Mike is consistently an advocate for best financial practices at our parish, open communication with our parishioners as well as financial policies that help our parish to be the strong faith community that it is. I am saddened to know that someone who does not even have the courage to identify themselves is able publicly to suggest something that is so false. They obviously know nothing about life at St. Mary Immaculate Parish. Fr. David Medow
Joliet Fish March 04, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Pastor Medow, Is it true or not that your parish's school accepted several hundred thousands of dollars from the state of Illinois, of which 1/3 was raised on the back of video gambling? Is it St Mary's policy that accepting gambling proceeds to help fund the new roof for the school is acceptable? I have my facts straight and can provide documentation that this is accurate. I hope you did your research before you and Mr. Kelly accepted those funds through the 2009 Capital bill.. I feel the Parish deserves better than obtaining funding from a state program that prays on the weak and addicted. How long did you think this would be kept in the dark??

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