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Comparing Dixon's salaries, offers to other districts

DIXON – Teachers and administrators in Dixon are among the highest paid among similar unit districts in Northern Illinois.

Dixon teachers average $62,012 a year, while its administrators average $101,598. Both are below the state average.

In comparison, Sterling teachers average $58,310, Meridian (Stillman Valley) $60,372, Winnebago $56,003, Sandwich $59,964, Plano $49,511, Byron $68,187 and Oregon $66,166.

Sterling administrators average $85,965, Meridian (Stillman Valley) $98,174, Winnebago $90,519, Sandwich $102,836, Plano $95,658, Byron $97,799 and Oregon $94,433.

Dixon teachers have been working without a contract since August.

In its last published offer, the Dixon Education Association asked for a 4-percent pay increase, but made revisions to its offer Thursday. The board is asking the union to take a pay freeze, but promised teachers a counter-offer when negotiations resume Monday.

Sandi Sodergren-Baar, union president, said teachers understand there will be compromise from their latest published offer.

In their last contract, teachers agreed to a soft freeze, meaning those who qualified for the built-in raises based on experience or further education received them.

Just 11 miles down the road, Sterling teachers have agreed to a soft freeze in their contract for 2012 to 2014.

Sterling has about $7.9 million in its education fund, but is projecting a deficit of about $1.1 million. The education fund lost about $1.2 million last year.

Sterling’s district also has 3,513 students to Dixon’s 2,781, and one more elementary school.

By comparison, Dixon has about $4.2 million in its education fund, and projects a $1.6 million deficit. That deficit does not include any proposals teachers may negotiate.

Meridian and Oregon teachers also took a salary freeze, and Winnebago teachers are working without a contract. Byron teachers received a 4-percent salary increase.

Juenger is among the highest paid superintendents in Northwest Illinois.

In 2011, after 2 years without a raise, Juenger was offered a 4-year retirement package with a 6-percent raise each year. This year, Juenger will make a salary-plus-pension of $190,096. When he retires in 2015, his salary-plus-pension will be about $213,592.

Juenger said administrators have not received a raise this year, but they were given a 3-percent raise last year.

“They did not receive one the year before that, so that gave them a 1.5 percent raise for each year, comparable to the raise teachers were getting [based on experience or education],” Juenger said.

Juenger said his 6-percent raise is consistent with teachers who are retiring.

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