Fellow CEA Members,

We are pleased to report that we have reached a Tentative Agreement with the School Board on a 2-year contract covering the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years.  
We will share the details of the contract with you at an upcoming ratification meeting.  Because we reached this agreement late last night, we do not at the moment have a definite time and place for this meeting.  However, we will try to secure the American Legion at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, April 24th, so please try to keep this date open.  We will certainly communicate with you via email, FaceBook, and our webpage as soon as we have a definite meeting time and location, hopefully later today.
There is one part of this Tentative Agreement that will impact retirees and potential retirees, but there is a fast-approaching deadline to make any decisions, so we do want to give you as much time to think about this as possible.  We have "Retirement Incentive" language in our current contract - please read through this language carefully, found at our website (www.collinsvillecea.org), located near the very end of the contract.  If you are considering retiring this year (2018), next year (2019), or at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, please know that there will be a deadline May 15th, 2018, to submit a letter to the District be able to participate in this retirement incentive program.
Thank you all for your patience and support throughout this school year as we have worked on these contract talks, and for all you do in your classrooms and school buildings each and every day.  It is an honor to bargain on your behalf.
~The CEA Negotiations Team
 

Negotiations Update - 3/26/18

THANK YOU fellow CEA members for the amazing turnout before tonight’s bargaining meeting at the School Board office.

We met as a full team with the full Board and the federal mediator. We can report we made some progress and have another meeting scheduled with the Board and the mediator on April 17th.  Your enthusiasm and support was inspiring! We are hopeful that we will reach a fair settlement very soon.

If you should be contacted by the media, please refer them to Stacey Soehlke Lauenstein or Mark Schusky.

Thanks again for all you do.

~Your CEA Bargaining Team

 

 
Fellow CEA Member,
We have some important information we'd like to share with you.
First, we are having a General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, March 13th at 4:00 at the American Legion in Collinsville to discuss with you the current state of contract negotiations and possible paths going forward in this regard.  We will also discuss the current status of Illinois' school funding issues.  Please make every effort to attend.  
Second, we have secured the services of a Federal Mediator for our next bargaining session with the School Board and Administration.  The CEA bargaining team will be meeting with the Board, and a mediator, on Monday, March 26th, at 6:00.  We will share more information about this at the General Membership Meeting on March 13th.
Third, please be sure to talk to your CEA Building Representative(s) on Friday of this week (3/2) or sometime next week.  The Building Reps. will receive important information at their March 1st Building Rep. meeting, and need to share this with you ASAP, as well as get some information from each of us.
Fourth, there have, as we're sure you know, been some student walk-outs and other demonstrations in the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida.  IEA has asked us to provide the attached information to all members regarding this issue.  Please be sure to look this over.
Fifth, Tuesday, March 20th is the Illinois Primary Election - please be sure to get out and vote.  IEA has a list of endorsed candidates on its website, if you're interested.
Lastly, THANK YOU for all you do for the students, parents, and community of Unit 10, under often trying and untested circumstances.  Your CEA leadership certainly appreciates all the effort, care, concern, dedication and professionalism you display each and every day.
We look forward to seeing everyone on March 13th!
~Your CEA Negotiations Committee & Executive Board
 
Fellow CEA Member,
We met as a full bargaining team last night with the School Board. After some discussion, it was mutually agreed by CEA and the Board that we would request the services of a mediator to attempt to help us bring closure to our ongoing negotiations process.  We will be contacting a mediation service promptly. At that point, a mediator will come and work with both sides to try to produce a settlement to our contract talks. 
The State of Illinois continues to delay implementing the new funding formula agreed to by the Legislature in August. Governor Rauner vetoed a recent bill to implement this funding of additional money to school districts; however, the Legislature overrode that veto last week. While this was good news, the Illinois State Board of Education maintains that there are still 23 technical items that must still be worked through before the new funds can actually be dispersed to local school districts.  We are hopeful that ISBE will finalize those figures soon. 
We are also hopeful that, with the help of a mediator, we can find a resolution to our contract on satisfactory terms quickly. 
We will of course let everyone know when a mediator is available and our next bargaining session is scheduled. 
Thanks as always for your patience and for all you do for the students of Unit 10. 
~Your CEA Bargaining Team
 

Fellow CEA Member,

We wanted to give a quick update on the current status of contract negotiations for our still unresolved 2017-18 contract. 

The Illinois State Board of Education still has not finalized funding numbers for districts for the distribution of new money agreed to by the State Legislature last August. Governor Rauner recently vetoed a bill that would have allowed these funds to be distributed, so there are more political maneuverings in Springfield now holding up final funding numbers as well as bureaucratic issues with ISBE. 

That said, we have arranged another bargaining session with the Board of Education. We will meet on the evening of Tuesday, February 6th, in hopes of reaching some kind of agreement with the Board and Administration. We will keep everyone updated on the status of our contract talks as we have information to share. 

If we are not updating our Facebook page, website, or emailing members as quickly as you may like, please know that is because there just isn’t new information to share. Because of the delays on the State’s end, we are left in some degree of limbo. However, know we are working diligently even in this unsettled political environment to finalize this year’s contract as quickly as we can with the Board. 

We will certainly share any new and relevant information we have with you as quickly as we have it. 

Thanks for all you do,
CEA Bargaining Team

 

Fellow CEA Member,

We finally have some modest progress to report on the negotiations front. CEA Co-Presidents Stacey Lauenstein and Denise Cigliana and CEA Bargaining Co-Chair Mark Schusky (with Co-Chair Stacey Lauenstein) met Monday, November 20th, with School Board President Gary Peccola, School Board Treasurer Dennis Craft and Superintendent Bob Green for an “informal” 3-on-3 Negotiations session.

We mutually agreed that the School Board would withdraw their proposal to increase class size for this year (from 28 to 32 for Grades 4-6, and from 30 to 34 for Grades 7-12). In exchange, we agreed on CEA’s end to wait for further bargaining on salary issues (the only remaining issue to bargain) until the Illinois State Board of Edication (ISBE) releases finalized school funding numbers for the 2017-18 school year.

ISBE is currently working to complete these funding numbers because the Illinois Legislature passed a new way the State funds schools in August. The old funding formula, commonly called GSA (General State Aid) has been replaced by an Evidence Based Model (EBM) that incorporates additional data from school districts to determine each local District’s funding level. Because this new EBM funding amount has not been determined yet, the School Board is reluctant to agree to any increase in our negotiated salaries at the moment. We on the bargaining team agree that it is in all our best interests to wait for further negotiations sessions with the School Board until ISBE determines these finalized funding amounts. We are hopeful ISBE will have these final figures soon, but IEA has counseled us it’s possible this may not occur until possibly January.

Once ISBE provides the EBM numbers, we will resume negotiations with the School Board as quickly as possible and will at that point hope soon to have a tentative contract to recommend for ratification. We also are hopeful that ISBE will finalize its EBM numbers before January, of course.

However, there are certainty still many hurdles to face before negotiations conclude. While we continue to hope for the best, it is of course prudent to prepare for any eventuality.

In the meantime, we are at least happy to report that there will be no class size increase on the table for any future negotiations for this year.

Thanks again for all your patience as we work our way through an unprecedented delay (in any of our bargaining experiences at least) in contract negotiations this year.

Special thanks too to the other members of our CEA Bargaining Team: Lori Billy, Matt Blunt, Toni Geisen, Lisa Bossetto, Cindy Kolda, and Allison Pyatt; as well as our IEA UniServ Director Judy Griffin. Your support, guidance, help and encouragement are invaluable!

We will of course keep you updated with any new developments regarding our negotiations as quickly as we have something to share.

Thanks for all your tireless efforts on behalf of our Unit 10 student family. We wish you all a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

 

Fellow CEA Member: We want to take a moment of your time to give you a summary of where we are in terms of bargaining our CEA Contract for the 2017-2018 school year with the Unit 10 School Board. This afternoon, Tuesday, October 24th, Stacey Lauenstein (Co-President and Bargaining Co-Chair), Denise Gruber-Cigliana (Co-President) and Mark Schusky (Bargaining Co-Chair) met with Superintendent Bob Green and School Board Members Gary Peccola and Dennis Craft. This was our latest in several rounds of “Three-on-Three” negotiations sessions in which we try to work informally to reach agreement on the major issues of our contract. We also have a full Bargaining Team consisting of Lori Billy, Matt Blunt, Toni Geisen, Cindy Kolda, Allison Pyatt, and our IEA UniServ Director Judy Griffin. 

As we have mentioned previously, the State of Illinois was much delayed in passing its budget for the current Fiscal Year, and also passed a major reform of how schools are funded in Illinois. While this law has passed – which is good news – the Illinois State Board of Education is still working to determine the exact funding amounts each local school district will receive based on this new formula. ISBE has not yet finished these calculations – that’s the bad news – and may not for several more months.

This is the longest any of us on your bargaining team can remember that we have worked into a school year without a contract, and we certainly share any frustrations you may have about this. Know that we have shared these frustrations – multiple times – with the School Board. However, without final funding numbers from the State, it is difficult to reach a final agreement on salary and other monetary issues.

We have already reached tentative agreement with the Board on several non-money language items, but the major compensation issues remain unresolved at this point. The School Board also proposed increasing the Class Size language for all 4-12 classes. We are, of course, adamantly opposed to any change in our current Class Size language. We are hopeful that the Board will agree that their proposal to increase class size numbers will harm all our students’ education, and will withdraw this.

We have another “Three-on-Three” bargaining session scheduled for November 13th, which will give the full School Board time to discuss the remaining issues. It is our hope, always, that we will reach agreement on all remaining issues with the Board quickly and amicably. In this event, we will have a general membership meeting to discuss ratification of a contract at that time. In the event we are not able to reach some consensus with the Board on moving forward, however, we may at that point still hold a general membership meeting to discuss with you possible paths forward for us as CEA members. It will be critically important for you to attend any membership meeting(s) that are called.

We are in unchartered waters, well past the 1st Quarter, the Holiday season approaching, and with no quick agreement on a contract clearly in sight. While we remain hopeful, we also want all of us, as members, to be aware of the seriousness of the situation and the need for all of us to stand united in our goal of achieving a fair, equitable, and fiscally responsible contract that is in the best interests of our students and our community.

We apologize for the length of this update, but we want to paint a clear picture of where things stand in our contract negotiations at this point. Know that we continue working for all of us, and we will keep you updated as we have news to share. Be sure to follow us on FaceBook (Collinsville CEA)

Thanks, as always, for all you do for the students, parents, and citizens of Unit 10.  

~Your CEA Negotiations Team

 

Fellow CEA Members-

 

We had a bargaining session on Monday, Oct. 2nd, and have another session set up for Oct. 24th.  We see this as a move in the right direction; we are actually meeting at the table. We will keep you updated and will hopefully have a Contract to vote on soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this process.

 

CEA Bargaining Team

 

Fellow CEA Members-

 

Just a brief update on the status of negotiations. At this point in time, we have requested a meeting with the Board. While we are still awaiting the final funding numbers from the state, we feel that we can resume bargaining at this time. We will continue to keep you updated via the facebook page, the CEA website (CollinsvilleCEA.org), and email. We continue to meet as a team and are working on bargaining strategies. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this process.

 

CEA Bargaining Team

 

 

Hello Fellow CEA Members,

To update the status of our contract negotiations - we held a "three-on-three" bargaining session with two Board members and Superintendent Dr. Green this afternoon about salary and 'money issues,' as well as the few outstanding language items we still need to reach agreement on (including class size).

We shared our initial thoughts with the Board, but it is clear to both sides that no further progress can be made - at least in the short term - until the Illinois Legislature reaches some consensus on the State's school funding issues. Political and legislative deadlines are fast approaching and we hope to have some clarity from Springfield within a week's time. At that point, we are hopeful to reach agreement with the Board and have a contract to ratify shortly after the start of the school year.

Unfortunately, this does mean we will begin the '17-18 school year without a new contract, but the terms of our expiring contract will thus remain in force for now.

Much obviously depends on what happens in Springfield. We will keep you posted and hope for the best. Please contact your State Legislators and ask them to solve this school funding crisis!

Thanks for all you do for the students and community of Unit 10. We hope your summer was restful and rejuvenating, and we wish you a successful start to the new school year!

 

Another negotiations update: We made significant progress this morning on remaining language items - we have "tentatively agreed" (TA'd) on all outstanding language items with the Administration with only a few exceptions, all of which directly involve money. 

We have agreed to tentatively meet again with the Administration and School Board members on July 19th to begin discussions on compensation and all remaining issues - however, the failure of the State of Illinois to pass a budget (again) seriously impedes our ability to reach any kind of acceptable negotiated settlement with the Board. 

We are hopeful the State will resolve its budget impasse before our next meeting and we can secure a settlement with the Board before the 2017-18 school term begins. Please contact your State legislators and (especially) the Governor and demand that they solve our State's budget crisis immediately! 

We will of course keep you updated as the summer progresses. Thanks, and we hope everyone is enjoying their summer break!

 

Fellow CEA'er,

First, on behalf of your CEA leadership team, Happy Summer! and Congratulations! on finishing out the '16-'17 school year. 
Secondly, our two-year contract is expiring and we will be negotiating this summer with the School Board and Administration for our new contract. We will exchange our language proposals on June 1, and then delve into compensation issues thereafter.  Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and check that page regularly for negotiation updates, as well as our CEA website (that's at:  http://www.collinsvillecea.org/ ). We will have a membership meeting to discuss the contract, hopefully prior to the start of next school year. 
 
Stay tuned....
 

 Click here for BND article.

 

Fellow CEA'ers...

It is time to begin the process of electing delegates to the 2017 NEA RA, to be held in Boston, MA, June 30 – July 5, 2017.  The first step in the process is to solicit delegate nominations from your eligible members.  Click here for your copy of the official nomination form.  You may reproduce this form if you wish to make multiple nominations.  Please follow the directions for completing the nomination form and comply with the time lines described therein.  Failure to submit the nomination on or before the deadline will result in the nomination form not being accepted.  The completed nomination forms are due to the Elections Committee by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8, 2017

 

Fellow CEA Member,

As you probably have heard already, TRS has finished calculating how much we are due back from our ERO contributions (0.4% of our salary for the last 10 years) and posted this information on our TRS Member Sections of their website.  You were sent an email by TRS with information on this - but, the email would have gone to whatever email address you last provided TRS.
If you didn't get the email, your information will still be on your individual "Account Access" TRS account.  If you have never set up an account for yourself through TRS, you can do that now.
The website is:  https://trs.illinois.gov/   Then, go to "Member Account Access" (top left) and follow the appropriate prompts/links.
Once you have an account set up with TRS, if you look under the "My Claims" section (bottom left side of that webpage) you can see the steps you need to take to claim your TRS refund.
There are basically two options - you can take cash now, or you can roll over your refund into a retirement account.  If you take the cash, it is my understanding there will be a 10% penalty for withdrawing retirement funds 'early,' and 20% will be withheld for taxes.
If you roll over your refund into a qualified retirement account (these are listed on the website), there are no penalties or withholdings.  However, you will have to fill out forms directing where TRS should invest your refund.
Obviously, this is an individual choice and you may want to discuss all these options with a financial adviser.  If we receive any further information, we will be sure to share this with you.
Thanks,
~CEA
 

Fellow CEA Member,

 

As many of you are aware, TRS reduced the amount of our contribution from 9.4% to 9.0% because of the expiration of the Early Retirement Option (ERO) this summer.  This is a complicated story, and we realize that you may have many questions about it -

ERO has expired – What happens next

Our TRS contribution has decreased from 9.4% to 9.0%.  This raises two important issues for all of us.

First, TRS will be refunding the 0.4% to anyone who contributed to TRS over the past ten years.  We should all be receiving forms and more information from TRS in the very near future.  TRS has some information on this at their website at:  http://trs.illinois.gov/press/reform.htm#ero   
Second, this change in TRS raised the issue of what to do with our pay and salary schedule moving forward, given the change in our TRS contribution rates.  After discussions with the Unit 10 Administration and School Board, the CEA was able to secure - in effect - a roughly .4% raise to our individual net salaries, maintaining the overall salary (including TRS) that we negotiated with the Board in our past contract.  I'm happy to discuss this further with anyone who has questions, but, the short answer is:  We have a new salary schedule for this school year (Click here to view updated schedule).  Please look this over and find your proper lane and step - this is your new contractual pay amount.
As we have received our contracts from the District, the amount listed as our "gross pay" should match this amount on the schedule as well - you may want to check to be sure this is correct before returning your signed contracts to the District.

Thanks for all you do!

 

~CEA Officers & Executive Board Members

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