Monmouth, IL – In an unusual move, the Monmouth-Roseville school board has approved a one year contract for its unionized teachers. Superintendent Paul Woehlke says it's unusual because new contracts usually extend over several years.
But he says both the union and district understand that, given the state's current financial crisis, it's fiscally irresponsible to plan too far into the future.
The board approved the contract at a special meeting this week, and was ratified by union representatives last week. It calls for a wage freeze for all employees.
Woehlke says the district will impose the same restrictions on non-union employees and administrators.
"We follow the pattern of the union, but we have to make decisions on their pay as well," says Woehlke. "There was a separate vote taken by the board to freeze the salaries of the principals and superintendent."
Woehlke says the district's financial constraints have been made very clear throughout the year -- and it was not difficult to convince the union to take the one year contract with a salary freeze.
The Monmouth-Roseville school district ended the year within budget in some areas -- but over budget in others. Superintendent Woehlke says the district was six-tenths of one percent under budget in its operating fund, but over in transportation and IMRF/Social Security.
"Those were accounting discrepancies where things were budgeted and where they were booked in actual books," says Woehlke. "[We] recognized why they went over budget, the other funds were under budget enough to offset those."
Woehlke says his district, like many others across the state, is still waiting for hundreds of thousands of dollars in state payments as the new fiscal year begins.