The Sherrard School Board and the Sherrard Education Association announcing ratification of a three-year labor agreement pending approval of the Teacher’s Retirement System. Unit 200 Superintendent Alan Boucher says the agreement includes a cost of living raise of two-percent each year.
The contract affects around 200 district teachers and support staff. In June the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner passed changes to the Illinois Pension Code that forces school districts to pay the pension costs for raises that exceed three-percent in years that are used for pension calculation. Sherrard is one of the first districts in the state to rework their collective bargaining language to account for the changes – required as districts’ labor contracts expire. Previously, the district had in place a six-percent retirement benefit. To avoid paying the excess pension costs and continue to provide teachers with similar retirement benefits they changed the contract to reflect the three-percent allowed. To make up the difference, board members set up a 403B account where the district will contribute the additional three-percent–which teachers can draw from following retirement.