CHICAGO -- Pay raises for Chicago teachers that were approved during marathon negotiations over the weekend will increase the Chicago Board of Education's estimated budget shortfall for fiscal 1993 by $100 million, the board's secretary said yesterday.
Including the increases in the Chicago Board of Education's budget next year will boost the board's estimated shortfall to $278 million, according to Tom Corcoran, the board's secretary.
Members of the Chicago Teachers Uniion will receive a 2% pay raise for the current fiscal year and a 7% pay raise for the fiscal year that begins Sept. 1, 1992, Mr. Corcoran said.
The 2% pay raise teachers will receive this year will cost $18 million, Mr. Corcoran said. He explained the increase will be funded through $12 million in cuts to the board's $2.3 billion budget and savingss derived from a refinancing of a portion of the $479 million of outstanding lease-revenue debt that has been issued on behalf of the board by the Chicago Public Building Commission.
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, chairman of the public building commission, agreed to do a refinancing to provide some money for teacher salaries to avoidd a strike, according to Noelle Gaffney, a spokeswoman for the mayor.
Thomas Walker, executive director of the public building commission, said yesterday his staff is considering the possibility of refinancing as much as $146 million of bonds the board has issued on behalf of the school board. But he said he did not yet know if any savings derived from a refinancing would be used to fund teacher salary increases.
Mr. Corcoran added that no one knows where the money will come from in fiscal 1993.
"The second year of the pay raise is going to be tough," Mr. Corcoran said. "We're going to have to work with the legislature to get additional funds and look to reduce our costs even further."
Toni Hartrich, director of research for The Civic Federation, a Chicago taxpayers watchdog group, said the board would be hard-pressed to get any additional funds from property taxpayers or the Illinois General Assembly to fund the fiscal 1993 salaries.
"They're guaranteed a pay raise they can't pay for yet," she said. "They're going to have to look at cuts."
Todd Whitestone, a managing director at Standard & Poor's Corp., said it is too early to tell how the board will be able to come up with the additional $100 million for the fiscal 1993 pay raises.
"The current year isn't quite so bad, but there are a lot of questions about next year," he said.
Standard & Poor's on Oct. 6 assigned a negative outlook to the board's BBB rating on $75 million of outstanding general obligation debt, in part because of the financial pressures the school system will face in coming years.
The $12 million in unspecified budgets cuts the board will have to make in this year's budget should be approved by the end of December, Mr. Corcoran said. The cuts will then have to be approved by the School Finance Authority, a state-created watchdog group that must ratify the board's annual budget.
The 30,000-member teachers union had been scheduled to go on strike yesterday if an agreement on salaries could not be reached. Jackie Gallagher, a union spokeswoman, said the union membership is expected to vote on Dec. 3 to accept the pay raises.