Public sector employers need to be aware of changes to the Open Meetings Act (OMA) brought about by Public Act 97-0609 (formerly Senate Bill 1831). The Act, which became effective on August 26, 2011, contains changes in addition to providing new accelerated payments for certain salary increases provided to members of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). It also amends the OMA to require an employer participating in IMRF to post on its website the total compensation package for each employee that has a total compensation package that exceeds $75,000 per year. Additionally, the new law also requires an employer participating in the IMRF to post on its website, at least six days prior to approval, any employee compensation package in excess of $150,000.
“Total compensation package” is defined in the statute as payment by the employer for salary, health insurance, a housing allowance, a vehicle allowance, a clothing allowance, bonuses, loans, and vacation and sick days granted.
School districts participating in IMRF are likely in partial compliance with this requirement because Section 10-20.47 of the School Code already requires each school board to post on its website the base salary and benefits of the superintendent and all administrators and teachers employed by the school district. Because there is no minimum salary requirement for the posting of this information, the information already being posted for administrators participating in IMRF would satisfy the new requirements under the OMA brought about by Public Act 97-0609. There may, however, be some IMRF employees at a school district who are not currently considered “administrators” whose compensation packages will need to be added to the information already posted on the district’s website.
Other public sector employers participating in IMRF should also be aware of this new requirement as it applies to all employers participating in IMRF. As a result, public sector employers who are likely not already posting the total compensation packages of employees with total compensation packages in excess of $75,000 should take steps to post this information on their website. Further, all employers that participate in IMRF must take steps to comply with the “advance notice posting” requirement for IMRF employees whose compensation package will exceed $150,000. Both of these rules take effect in 2012.