McSweeney for educator post retirement bonus ban

State Representative David McSweeney from the Republican Party is trying to stop cash bonuses which a few school districts provides to retired educators. These bonuses remain embedded to into relatively less highlighted administrator-teacher contracts. These payouts cost local taxpayers substantial amounts of money.

Discreet bonuses

Rep. Sweeney, who was elected from Barrington Hills, said that he was not aware of such a bonus scheme until a newspaper highlighted the discreet payouts. The lawmaker has since filed a legislation on October 7 which will stop downstate and suburban school districts from including the post retirement bonuses in the contracts. He added that he may include the Chicago Public Schools within the legislation. The latter makes sense as the district, as a part of tentative contract agreement inked with Chicago Teachers Union, consented to provide cash bonuses to teachers. The latter, however, must be those who had agreed to retire when the school year ends. The concerned educators would be served a notice within March 31, 2017. This will lead to the June 30, 2017 retirement date.

Know before action

McSweeney reiterated that he would consider the issue of adding Chicago, before adding that he will want to see all facts and read the concerned new CTU contract prior to reaching a decision. He made it amply clear that he is not in favor of the practice. Contract signed by CTU must be ratified by House of Delegates of the union and by the full membership. A tentative settlement was made on October 10. This agreement thwarted a teacher’s strike. Teachers eligible under the “retirement incentive” of the CPS will offer a single time and lump sum bonus. As per tentative agreement, the amount of money under the bonus would be calculated by multiplying the CPS service years left for the teacher by $1,500. To give an example, if a particular teacher has 10 years’ service left, the payment would be $15,000. Although pension calculation takes into account the earnings of the teacher at the end of his or her career, the bonus as per the CPS can be described as a “non-pensionable” factor. It means the teacher’s pension amount will not be impacted.

The CPS program, however, comes with a few caveats. A minimum of 1,500 teachers must be needed for participation. In case it does not happen, the teachers may take back the retirement notices.

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