Monthly Archives: May 2017

CUSD200 Admin contracts renewing SOON

The current administrator contracts were approve last year at the June 8, 2016 board meeting as entries in the personnel report which was attached to the meeting’s agenda.

The salaries for our sample administrators are:
admin 2017 salatiesEach received a 0.8% increase.

Several years ago I asked the board in my public comments if they had any idea what they had approved?  The board packets listed who had contracts renewing, but nothing about salaries or benefits.  I thank the board for including the administrator’s salaries in the personnel reports after that.

However,  I don’t see a sample contract attached to last year’s agenda so that the board & public can know what benefits are included.

There is a finance committee meeting at 7:30 AM on May 31.  Meeting Notice  And the next regularly scheduled board meeting is 7:00 pm on June 14.  That board meeting is when the administrative contracts should be approved.  Expect the meeting notice to be posted on the preceding Friday.  By law it must be available at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. 

  • The administrators contracts that I have were all for one year – expiring June 30, 2017.  That is the end of next month! (correction the ones I have were for July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.  The renewed last year)
  • The current WWEA teacher contract expires June 30, 2018
  • The Classified Education Association (CEA) 2014-2017 (support staff)  also expires end of June.
  • The Superintendent’s contract also runs through June 30, 2018

In my opinion:

  1. The Board must know what is in the contract that they are approving – a sample admin contract should be attached to the meeting agenda.
  2. ALL post career compensation must go!
  3. Extra sick days for pension padding must go!
  4. Administrators must pay their own pension contributions, just like teachers do – and no, we cannot give them large raises so that they see no loss in net pay.  This is a perk they never should have had.

For my analysis of the current contracts see:

Admin compensation – CUSD 200 (part 2)

For part 1, see:

I was wondering just how much more generous the administrators’ contracts are than the Teachers’ contract. This posting will look at Holidays,  vacation days, sick days and their affect on the pension/end-of-career payouts.  The Sick Day Bank can be quite large at the end of a career.  It can be used to increase the pension payout or to take a lump sum at retirement.

 While looking at these detail, I noticed a couple perks in the latest teacher contract that  were not in their previous contract, and I had not seen when the contract was approved.  Note: the contract was not available until  weeks after it was approved. 

The latest WWEA contract increased the sick days allocate as well as the post-employment-compensation.  Neither  were in the highlights that were posted for board approval.   Although the increase in post employment compensation was mentioned by board members as they voted for it.


The current teacher contract is for July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018.

The WWEA (teacher union) contract is negotiated with union reps on one side, and school administration on the other.  For the current contract, no school board member was on the negotiation team.  In fact, I was told they didn’t have anyone even watching.

The negotiating team from the WWEA contract:

wwea negotiating team


Generally, the administrators will get what the teachers get and then some (like pension pick-up).  Who is representing the taxpayers?

Leave of Absence

See the contract for the full set of rules and details for all types of leaves (seick leave, Bereavement leave, personal leave, Religious holidays, Parental leave, family medical leae act, general leave of absence, military leave, & Professional leave)

Number of days worked

For Teachers, based on the school calendar  teachers are scheduled to work 186 days a year – 5 of those days are teacher institute/work days with no students in class.  They receive two months off in the summer and all the school Holidays.

Administrators who work 12 months, have 260 working days
(364 days a year, 52 weekends is 104 days, 364-104 = 260)
They each receive 12 holidays, 23 vacation days, and 15 sick days.
Each can carry up to 36 vacation days to the next year
Up to 59 vacation days can be cashed in at the per diem rate at termination (retirement).

Vacation and Holidays

From Biscan’s contract (sample admin)

days off

Note: the maximum number of vacations days that an administrator may have is 59.  According to their current contracts days in excess of the 36 if not used are lost.  This wasn’t always the case.  For instance, Bill Farley cashed in 5 vacation days in 2013 for $3,606.19.  I do not see this listed in Farley’s current contract, but we have a FOIA that lists this dollar amount.    And it is in Dr. Schuler’s current contract

schuler cashout vac


Bossier’s contract (the one grandfathered in with the 6% end of career salary spikes) allows excess vacation days to morph into unlimited sick days:

vac holidy bossier



From Biscan’s Contract:



What is this sick leave worth?

admin sick leave bank


The maximum number of sick days to count towards pension service with TRS is 340, where 170 days = 1 year.   Up to 15 sick days can be cashed in at the per diem rate at retirement (days count for one or the other, not both)

WWEA (teacher) contract is more generous

weea sick leave

Why are they increasing the number of sicks days per year as the size of the sick bank grows?  Could it have anything to do with TRS accepting up to 340  sick days as credit towards pension?    I do not see a line about cashing in unused sick days at the per diem rate in this contract.  pdf

From the WWEA contract for July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015 (no longer posted on the district web site) we know that this perk was new in 2015.

wwea12to15 sick

Was the school board aware of this increase in sick days for  teachers as they approach retirement?  The extra sick days were NOT in the contract highlights posted for the board to approve.

Contract approval

The contract was approved at a special board meeting on June 4, 2015.  The contract was approved based on  contract highlights .pdf which was made available approximately 48 hours prior to the meeting.  At the time I  questioned why they could not wait until the next week at the regularly scheduled board meeting.  I also questioned the wisdom of passing it without actually seeing the contract.

The BOARD has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers.  Part of that is to be part of contract negotiations, not just a bystander who votes on what is brought to them.  The boards failure to be a part of these negotiations is a failure of the board and another example of what is wrong with so many public officials.  Disregard for the public is no longer being tolerated!  CUSD 200 Board actions were no different than those of COD with their golden parachute votes.

Prior to the meeting I was advised that “They MUST recite key elements of the contract with enough information as to inform the voter of the actions being taken.”

From a 6/3/2015 email from Jan Shaw to a few friends regarding my thoughts for public comment:

  • 3 year agreement covers the 2015-16; 2016-17; and 2017-18 school years
  • OK
  • and provides for a balanced budget based on current revenue projections.
  • OK
  • It also contains a limited re-opener memorandum to address any drastic changes in funding or revenue enacted by the legislature.
  • Sounds Good – want to see it
  • This agreement addresses staff professional development time,
  • OK
  • eliminates staff access to the State’s Early Retirement Option,
  • Good – does this affect the amount that is paid into the pension?
  • eliminates the salary step increment,
  • Define please?  Doing away with steps?  Or same chart for 3 years?
  • and includes increased staff contributions for health benefits.
  • Does it include a “Good for the Goose, Good for the gander” clause so that all administrators will need to pay into the pension and for health care like teachers do? 
  • Not here, but section 12 of the existing contract gives a lump sum to retirees based on years of service (unless they opted for the old 6% for 4 year option) $500 per year-of-service
  • 20 year = $10,000.  ALL end of career goodies need to GO!

Missing minutes for 6/4/2016

The June 10, 2015 agenda include “Approval of Minutes – March 25, 2015 Open and Closed, May 13, 2015 Open and Closed, May 18, 2015 Special Closed, May 27, 2015 Open and Closed, and Approval to Destroy Recordings of Closed Sessions Prior to January 2014 as Allowable by Law”

The July 10, 2016 agenda has “Approval of Minutes – June 10, 2015 Open and Closed, and Approval to Destroy Recordings of Closed Sessions Prior to February 2014 As Allowable by Law”

Where are the 6/4/2015 minutes?

The podcast of the meeting

is available on youtube: CUSD200 6/4/2015

11:05 Dr. Schuler
15:55 Dr Rammer – what is in the contract.
16:20 board discussion – Brad Paulsen,
18:15 Dr. Schuler – overview of salary schedule.
20:40 Intihar
22:30 Swanson
24:30 Coghill
27:40 roll call vote with comments
30:00 Gambiani’s comments as to why he voted “NO” (worth listening) “…Total salary increase approaching $6 million.  Total salary percentage increases that could reach 8.5%.  Total stipend increases of 6% and 50% increase in post employment payment. In the 2016-2017 school year, this district will enjoy a $4 million windfall, given the fact that 60 retiring teachers will be replaced with teachers at lower salaries. This situation presents the district with a unique opportunity to have access to funds that could be used for building maintenance… It is important to acknowledge that the district has numerous current and future financial challenges that can no longer be ignored. Unfortunately these available funds are being used to support the teachers’ contract…”

33:10 Vroman covers more (include $250 more per year for post-employment compensation)

Based on the comments, the board was aware of at least one change that was not in the posted highlights.

What was in the sick bank for those who negotiated this?

negotiator sick bank

Overly Generous in the Past

The district was once far more generous with this for at least a couple administrators.  Dr. Catalani was the Superintendent from 2000 to 2007.

catalani pay and pension

And there were two other top administrators who made out like bandits,  Sorrick and Belha.  For details, see:

Marfo Sorrick retired in 2011,

  • Sorrick had 33.026 years of service credit plus 1.974 year for unused sick-leave credit (total 35)
  • Her service included 1.026 years purchased credit for private school service.
  • From TRS she received a $23,001.62 refund ($18,592.62 for “2.2 refund” and $4,409.00 for not using the early retirement option)
  • From CUSD 200, she received lump sum payments of $ $21,085.22 ($6,487.76 for 53.2 vacation days and $14,597.46 for 18 sick leave days)

 Sorrick’s end of career raises were 6.26%, 20%, 0%, 6% and 6%.  Her contract ended in 2009 and was extended to 2010 and 2011.  Her 20% raise came 2008 – three years earlier than contracted  – the contract called for 20% for the LAST year worked.  It appears to have been effective the day after Superintendent Catalani retired and on the day Dr. Drury began.  We never found anything to show that it or the 6% raises for her last two years were approved by the board.  We are still paying for this as it increased her pension for life. 

Lori Belha retired in 2011

  • Belha had 37 years of service credit plus 1.97 year for unused sick-leave credit
  • Her service included 10 years purchased credit for out of system service.
  • From TRS, she received a $28,105 refund ($23,784.95 for “2.2 refund” and $4,320.21 for not using the early retirement option)
  • From CUSD 200, she received lump sum payments of $32,889.26 ($25,200 for 59 vacation days and $7688 for 18 sick leave days)


Belha’s end of career raises were 6.95%, 18.47%, 0%, 6% and 6%.  Same comment as above, although I wonder if her 20% was put into effect a month or 2 earlier.

Note Dr. Belha was the Assistant superintendent for Human Resources.




Admin compensation – CUSD 200 (part 1)

I had submitted a FOIA to Wheaton-Warrenville, CUSD 200, for some administrator contracts last summer [2016].  

I was wondering just how much more generous they are than the Teachers’ contracts. First thing we confirmed is that while teachers make their own pension payments, the district pays the employee portion for administrators.  Checking the compensation report we discovered that this cost the district $602,454.89  in 2016 [correction – thee FOIA was summer 2015 – time flies].

  • The bulk of the administrator contracts matched Biscan’s and were for July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.  I will use it as a sample.
  • One, Bossier is different. She had a grandfathered contract with the pension spike and she was on the retirement track.  I believe the last of the employees with this 6% end-of-career option retired in 2016.
  • Superintendent, Dr. Schuler’s contract is unique. It is a multi-year contract (Sep 2, 2014 through June 30, 2018). Available on the district website: Superintendent Contract
  • We also have some older administrator contracts which were even more generous.

These contracts contain some benefits that exceed what is in the teacher’s contract (WWEA) – available on the district website:  link to contract



From Biscan’s Contract:

contract length and pay


In Bossier’s contract the following paragraph was included. She was grandfathered into the old contract that offered 6% end-of-career spiking.

pension spike

For a history of CUSD 200 end-of-career salary enhancements see:

From the sample contracts for 2016, we have the following list of base pay and per diem pay.

pay per diem



For teacher’s the pension contribution is deducted from their paycheck (i.e. they pay their own).  For administrators, the district makes the TRS or IMRF payment.

From Biscan’s Contract:

trs imrf


Another verbiage for pension pick-up is seen in Bossier’s contract

bossier pension pick up


There are two compensation reports available on the district’s website click, Departments, Human resources.  Then Compensation reports.  You will find 2 reports.

  • 2016 Teacher Administration Salary Compensation Report click here
  • 2016 IMRF >$75,000 Compensation Report click here

I copied the entries that had a non-zero “Retirement Enhancement” which is the pension pick-up.   The total cost to the district is $602,454.89  (would this be better spent on  capital improvements?)

The administrators entries from the 2016 Compensation reports (I dropped the cents to save space): admin compensation 2016


Post Employment Compensation – Retirement Benefits:

From Biscan’s Contract:

post emp

And the retirement section from Biscan’s Contract:


From Bossier contract (the grandfathered version)

retire bossier

Compare this to what the Teachers have in the WWEA contract:

WWEA post emp compERO was the Early Retirement Option.  No longer available.

Teachers must work at least 18 years to receive a post employment lump sum (does not count toward their pension).  Administrators need only work 5 years for this payment, and the amount is larger.


We have made public comments for years, telling the board that end-of-career salary spikes MUST GO! and Then all post employment compensation must go!


Wheaton-Warrenville, CUSD 200, Post-Referendum Survey

The school District sent an email to everyone on their email list asking for our feedback. I’m sharing a portion of it here, because most community members who do not currently have student attended D200 school will not have seen this.

On April 4, the community stated that they did not support the facility plan put forth by the Board of Education…

The Board has opened a community survey to gather feedback on the April 4th Facilities Referendum. The responses received from this anonymous survey will make an important contribution as we identify the next steps to address our facility needs. In order to gather the most comprehensive feedback from a broad representation of our community, I ask that you:
[Please] take the survey…
The survey will be open from today through Friday, May 19.
Thank you for taking a few minutes to share your feedback with us.

Jim Vroman, President
CUSD 200, Board of Education

Donors to the “yes” campaign

To find information about Candidate or Political Action Committees (PAC) spending & donations start at

Any candidate or political group that spent more than $5,000 must file reports.  The “yes” campaign for the Wheaton-Warrenville, CUSD 200 referendum was mainly funded by the Parent Teacher Associations (PTA).  These groups are 501(c)3 non-profits.  I suspect that each took a vote at a regular meting with the typical few in attendance.  How do the bulk of the parents feel?  Are they aware that PTA being politically active could jeopardize its non-profit status?

Friends of the Schools – Yes For Wheaton
Quarterly Report 1/1/2017 to 3/31/2017
Filed 4/14/2017 6:11:48 PM
Starting balance     $711.05
Contributions    $12,425.10
Expenditures     $11,826.69
Ending balance   $1,309.46

Note: the quarterly report lists $12,425.10 Contributions, which is slightly less than the sum of the donations by listed contributors:  $12,869

yes campaign 2017

Ivor Andrew  a.k.a. Boost Marketing is owned by Keith and Susan Booton.  They were paid approximately $20,000 by the district for referendum videos  and apparently handled “Yes” marketing materials. The note for their donation was for “Graphic design and copy writing services” which is most likely donated labor.


Captive Reasources, LLC
Found on-line:
America’s Alternative Insurance Specialists
Schaumburg, IL
I did not find them listed on the district website.
But wondering: Do they have anything to do with D200 insurance?

Individual donors:

  • Corry was on Wheaton city council and she was the co-chair of engage200 committee
  • Hupp was on the engage 200 committee
  • Triscik in a member of the PTA council
  • Dan & Lisa  Wagner are professional political fundraisers and were paid staff for politicians.  They headed the failed 2013 “Jefferson Yes” campaign.

NON-profits and PACs
Tax exempt 501(c)3’s are allowed to give up to 10% to lobbying efforts, but nothing to candidates or political action committees (PAC).  The referendum committee is a PAC. These PTA’s could be endangering their non-profit status and their donors’ charitable donation claims.  I was told this by several people, who are involved in non-profits.  I have not found any case law to verify the cautions.

See: or for rules regarding non-profits.