District 112 Teachers Explain Intent to Strike
The union that represents Highland Park's elementary and middle school teachers says the school board is 'pinching on pennies.' A strike could begin in mid-October.
The following is a letter to the editor from the North Shore Education Association (NSEA) explaining the decision to file a Notice of Intent To Strike.
The NSEA delivered the 10-Day Notice of Intent to Strike on Friday to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) and the North Shore School District 112 School Board and Regional Superintendent.
The NSEA was extremely disappointed when the Board's final offer showed absolutely no discernible movement by the school board from their previous offer to the NSEA. While the NSEA made a huge change in its position in the final offer, hoping to show its sincere desire to reach an amicable settlement, the teachers were extremely dismayed to see no change on the part of the board. It seems that while the board does not mind paying huge administrative salaries (including pension benefits, bonuses, disability insurance, cash instead of family insurance, all costing tens of thousands of dollars), when it comes to the teachers, the board is insisting on pinching pennies.
If the NSEA accepted the board's ridiculously meager offer, the District 112 teachers would not ratify the contract. They feel they deserve better. They feel that they deserve compensation and benefits at least on par with those of surrounding districts. They feel that it's not fair for a teacher earning a Master's degree in education to not get repaid for that tuition for 28 years (in many other districts, the district pays for part of the tuition AND allows teachers to move lanes, thus recouping the cost in 3 to 5 years).
In short, the NSEA is determined to keep our school district where it belongs -- attracting and keeping the best teachers and giving our students a world-class education.