We urge you to vote "NO" and we want to alert voters to reasons for heavy teacher's union involvement in this referendum. The Doings recently reported that the D86 Teacher's Union has contributed $2,000 to the "YES" campaign for the referendum (ref D2 filing for YES campaign). The teachers & staff are promoting the tax increase alongside the PTO leadership and involving the students. The significant issue here missed by the Press and not highlighted by the Administration is the $29.5M line item in the referendum that includes spending which was always included in the annual budget. The items inside the $29.5M are doors, sealing window, parking lot paving, roof replacement, etc... which always have been paid from the annual budget. If the referendum is passed the $29.5M spending can be switched to be available for the employees. Negotiations are coming up with the teachers union, and 2 newly formed unions, the paraprofessional union, and the buildings and grounds union. Plus the administration has not been shy with requesting their own increases (note C4CH email on the new $100K minimum wage for Admin). The Teacher's Union is planning 2 years ahead of the taxpayers and creative in finding ways to fund their currently unsustainable contract. Beware this referendum contains a $29.5M piece of budget candy for the employees, not for the taxpayers or students.
Only 15.5% of the referendum goes into classroom improvements. Then in a complementary way over 80% of the operating budget goes directly to employees through salaries, benefits and pensions. These spending trends are unsustainable and will accelerate if the referendum is approved. Little of the taxpayer money in this referendum is going into the classroom and the budget gerrymandering of $29.5M from the annual budget to the referendum is further evidence of the manipulation of this flawed and inflated referendum.
The Teacher's Union (and all Government Unions) have monopoly bargaining power so they negotiate and strategize to avoid the necessary reforms in work rules while increasing their membership and dues, and increasing salary, benefits and pensions to the maximum extent possible. We understand this economic motivation and C4CH feels compelled to point out the Union leadership has interest and tactics that can hurt property values, such as this $29.5M budget maneuver.
BACKGROUND & HISTORY
After the failure of the past D86 referendum in April of 2017 by a 3:1 margin, the Teachers Union became active and had appointees to a Committee to suggest additional spending to the referendum. Student representatives were also added to the committees, who of course are vulnerable to their teacher's ideas. These Union efforts dramatically increased the scope and spending from $76M to $166M for the referendum and included a major budget maneuver to remove operating expenses such as normal roof repair and replacement, parking lots, doors, etc... plus other annual maintenance or repairs and place the $29.5M amount in the $166M referendum (1/4 $Billion with interest). The Union wins with a big referendum like this because millions could later be shifted to spend on staff salaries, benefits and pension increases.
The Teacher's Union & Admin plan their contract negotiations far in advance while the volunteer Board and conflicted law firms representing the Board (and sometimes the Unions too) do not plan far in advance. Instead of preparing for contract reforms to save money, the Teacher's Union spent their time lobbying to move annual budget items out of the annual budget and into a large tax increase. C4CH opined that the last teacher's union contract was unsustainable and it is. This creative gerrymandered must be stopped with a NO vote.
No one on this D86 Board or in the press seem to be voicing any concern or connection between our declining home values, the unsustainable teacher's union contracts, and the pro-union D86 board proposing a $29.5M budget maneuver. Please Vote NO.
Note EDUCATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS are only 15.5% of the referendum in the pie chart below. See the Operations and Maintenance Items totalling $29.5M from the annual operating budget that should not be included in the referendum. VOTE NO!!
2017 - a $76M referendum failed in April of 2017, Voters said no 3:1
Overspending and high taxes hurt property values and does not make our kids any smarter. Vote No!
Another unaffiliated group is running a campaign against the referendum - District 86 Can Do Better. Visit their site.
We respect education and your hard earned money. If you would like to help quietly or actively advocate for fiscal conservatism with C4CH, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Respectfully, Your Neighbors - C4CH