WAUKEGAN, Ill. – Teachers in Waukegan, Illinois obviously have a powerful teachers union.

Spending report graphicBut who’s speaking up for the poor taxpayers and parents who get the short end of the deal when generous labor perks are handed out?

The Waukegan teachers union contract provides up to 14 sick days per year for tenured teachers and 12 for non-tenured teachers.

Not surprisingly, they use a lot of those days. In the 2014-15 school year, 1,180 teachers took 13,312 sick days for an average of 11.28 days per employee. That’s quite a few for a school year of about 180 days.

The frequent absences disrupt classroom learning and drive up substitute teacher costs.

And to top it all off, teachers are allowed to bank an unlimited number of unused sick days and cash them in later. At the end of 2014-15, Waukegan teachers had banked 70,566 unused sick days. If they were all cashed in over time, the district would have to pay out roughly $7.76 million.

Waukegan school administrators also have a cushy sick day system.

A total of 180 administrators took 1,567 sick days in 2014-15 for an average of 8.71 days per employee. They also took 1,907 vacation days for an average of 10.59 per employee.

By the end of the school year administrators had banked 14,281unused sick days, with a potential total payout of $1.65 million.

All of the above means that as of one year ago, Waukegan taxpayers were on the hook for more than $9 million to pay school employees for coming to work on days they were scheduled to work, anyway. And that total has probably increased in the last year.

Doesn’t anybody find that a bit troubling?