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District 112 Teachers Set Strike Date for Oct. 16

Unable to reach a contract agreement with the District 112 Board of Education, Highland Park's elementary and middle school teachers have set a date to strike.

Still unable to come to an agreement with the school board for its contracts, the District 112 teachers' union has set a strike date of Oct. 16.

District 112 Contract Negotiations: The Story So Far 

The board and the North Shore Education Association (NSEA) met on Oct. 4 for five hours to try and reach an agreement. The teachers have been working without contracts since August. 

"At the opening of the Oct. 4 mediation session, the Board presented an improved economic proposal that kept within its guiding principles of maintaining a balanced budget," wrote District 112 Board President Bruce Hyman in a letter posted on District 112's website

The board's new proposal "showed movement on key issues,  including increased compensation, professional growth payments (lane movement) and a pro-rated formula for Board-paid insurance for part-time teachers," according to Hyman.

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The movement, however, was not enough for the teachers. The contract is still inferior to those offered to teachers in surrounding districts, according to the NSEA. 

"If the NSEA were to accept the board’s proposal, it would seriously compromise the quality of the district," a statement on the NSEA's website reads.

Another bargaining date is set for Oct. 10. Both the school board and NSEA have expressed hope in reaching an agreement then.

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David Greenberg October 08, 2012 at 01:38 AM
People already want to move because our taxes are sky-high, but they can't sell their homes because - the taxes are too high! I know many people who would like to live in Highland Park but are turned off by the high taxes, so they go to a nearby community which is also in the "Top 10" of schools, get "more house" for their money, and have lower taxes. Higher taxes does not necessarily correlate with a better education. As for your argument that there's no price or cost that we should limit what a good/skilled teacher is worth - I respectfully disagree. What if the teachers wanted $1M each/year in salary? Would that be too much? And if there's no price or cost that we ought to limit teacher salaries to, then why do we have salary schedules? The fact of the matter is that there are some limits to what we can and are willing to pay anyone for any job - and teachers are no exception. We certainly do support our teachers, but as we've just been informed by the announcement from the Union - they're saying "Either you give us what we want, or we're going on strike." - that sounds like a shakedown to me, not someone we ought to support. Finally, the teachers salaries come from our tax dollars - if they don't preserve and protect the taxpayers, there won't be any tax dollars for them to derive salaries from. We all need each other - and if they want to be unreasonable and go on strike, we can and should replace them.
David Greenberg October 08, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Finally, this argument is about what the TEACHERS are demanding in salary/benefits - I'm not about to debate what my take home is - because I'm not a public employee, so it's no one's business but mine and my family's.
David Greenberg October 08, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Go BOE - the community has your back! Keep that line in the sand nice and straight - we can certainly win against those who would try to use our children as weapons. My true colors are quite simple: Truth, Honesty, and Fiscal Responsibility. I'm willing to ask the hard questions, ask "WHY?" when something is proposed, and examine the aspects of it in order to balance the needs of the District and the taxpayers to ensure a quality education. If something doesn't seem right, I'm going to investigate.
forest barbieri October 08, 2012 at 03:33 PM
llwvrt: This is a labor dispute, nothing more and nothing less. It is not about people leaving and the outcome is not going to change people’s lives. More than the labor side, this is actually more of a principle issue as to teachers seeking more in a tough economy (do you love us?) and management trying to steer clear of an accelerated compensation race with neighboring districts anmaintaining a financial prudence in difficult times. I am in favor of teachers and know that the committed ones spend a lot of their own monies on supplies, manipulative et al. Certainly, these committed, dedicated, passionate teachers deserve more! However, the flip side of this is that I believe those burned out - non passionate teachers, there merely to finish with a nice pension, wait the system out and perform only at an acceptable level should be terminated regardless of tenure orlevel of degree. The problem is, the Union would never agree to both sides of this equation they want more for all and to protect the teachers that do not perform at an exceptional level! The final side of this equation is the bigger elephant which is redistricting, same grade schools or some form of consolidation which is a much bigger issue for the community and the teachers. That subject will be make today's dispute seem a walk in the park and will bring the Union out in force as it can cause a reduction of staff. Let us look at the bigger picture as this current issue is a small part of the whole!
forest barbieri October 08, 2012 at 07:57 PM
llwvrt: This is a labor dispute, nothing more and nothing less. It is not about people leaving and the outcome is not going to change people’s lives. More than the labor side, this is actually more of a principle issue as to teachers seeking more in a tough economy (do you love us?) and management trying to steer clear of an accelerated compensation race with neighboring districts while nmaintaining a financial prudence in difficult times. I am in favor of teachers and know that the committed ones spend a lot of their own monies on supplies, manipulative et al. Certainly, these committed, dedicated, passionate teachers deserve more! However, the flip side of this is that I believe those burned out - non passionate teachers, there merely to finish with a nice pension, wait the system out and perform only at an acceptable level should be terminated regardless of tenure orlevel of degree. The problem is, the Union would never agree to both sides of this equation they want more for all and to protect the teachers that do not perform at an exceptional level! The final side of this equation is the bigger elephant which is redistricting, same grade schools or some form of consolidation which is a much bigger issue for the community and the teachers. That subject will be make today's dispute seem a walk in the park and bring the Union out in force as it can cause a reduction of staff. Let us look at the bigger picture as the current issue is a small part of the whole!
Ernest October 08, 2012 at 09:22 PM
The teachers need to stop dragging the kids into it with the all black attire or the dedicated teacher t-shirts. The kids don't understand what's going on, but are confused and scared. If the teachers are not allowed to picket on campus, they should also not be allowed to have signs displayed in the rear windows of their cars either. The children should not be used a pawns in this process.
Jack Straw October 08, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Trust me they are following the Taft-Harley Act to the letter. So far they have not picketed on dist. property as far as I know, they are not wearing union buttons or any signage, there car is considered personal property and therefor legal. Folks your playing with the big boys union now.
forest barbieri October 08, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Our Teachers Plight: $$Do you love us?$$ Do you Care?$$$$ Because, we will not always be there)- Our conditions teaching these gangster’s with hoodies signing Stanford, Yale, Harvard that you send to school from well educated, success oriented, well travelled, happy family units make our jobs so difficult. Imagine, they arrive well nourished and hungry for information, participate in community events, experience cultural offerings, understand the need to give to the less fortunate and expect to be successful and creative members of society when they grow up. Likely, many will even become high tax revenue producers allowing them to fund the pensions and other debts society will run up for them. How can you task us with such a difficult mission and force us to teach these kinds of children 9 months a year? If you can make it anywhere, you can make it here. Sometimes, just sometimes, we mess up and some kids end up at a state college :)- Based on our work conditions and an administration that won't just bend over and give us all we $$$$$demand$$$$$, we are putting on our Black outfits, taking our rulers and remember the "for the Kids" mantra? Well forget that, now it is all about us and the kids are going to be your problem while we take some time off to strike. Hopefully, a mutually fair settlement will be made, alleviating the potential strike that directly and negatively impacts our kids! Keep Smiling!
Jack Straw October 08, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Here is what you will not see, your local Democratic representatives come to the rescue or even make a comment, why well they are bought and paid for by NEA and IEA money. Don’t believe me, look it up. Then you might understand why her favorite collar is red, that kind of money would even make Heidi Fleiss blush. Now you’re thinking that’s just patrician political rhetoric, again I don’t see to many statesmen in the Republican Party either.
llwvrt October 08, 2012 at 11:06 PM
IEA/NEA supports Dold. Please do vote for him.
Jack Straw October 08, 2012 at 11:15 PM
That’s only because the other candidate has no chance of winning. I never said they only give to Democrats, but it is about 4 to 1 Democrat.
llwvrt October 09, 2012 at 12:31 AM
They actually give it to the candidate who supports education. Party line does not matter. If that tends to be more democratic, well, they often vote for education. I saw the list, there are some republicans.
Jack Straw October 09, 2012 at 12:46 AM
That is so sweet; they care about education that explains why the NEA put 44 million dollars in to a mid-term election. I am sure it was their love for the children that caused them to buss people to the "Madison Uprising”. The beginning of the end of the incestuous relationship between government and the unions. That fact has been recognized by the public sector unions and the Democratic Party and is why they have pulled out all the stops and reverted to their 1960's playbook in order to maintain the status quo. However, it is a battle that the unions and the Democratic Party will lose.
Walter White October 09, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Are you letting Greenberg author your posts?
David R. October 09, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Below is a link to a chart reflecting the BOE's/Union's current offers/counteroffers, etc. To those of you who are blindly supporting the Union leadership, please identify the BOE's offers that are unreasonable. I think you'll be hard pressed to do so. The BOE should make it clear that it will pull several of the concessions they've made if the Union votes to strike next week. http://www.nssd112.org/files/_hIDTU_/02da706e545285f33745a49013852ec4/CHART_RE_SEQUENCE_OF_PROPOSALS.pdf
Mark Stein October 09, 2012 at 03:53 AM
It is unfortunate that the Board's chart contains a number of falsehoods. I do not intend to go into the details at this time. We will respond when we deem it appropriate to do so. Mark Stein UniServ Director Illinois Education Association
Jack Straw October 09, 2012 at 04:15 AM
This community is fully behind the BOE, Mr. Stein. You might want to go back to Wisconsin were you had such great success this summer.
David R. October 09, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Mark, That's been your "strategy" during this entire dispute. Don't actually talk specific numbers (that will come later); rather, attack as liars the unpaid volunteers who make up our BOE and also shift the focus to the adminstrators' salaries, as if cutting their salaries would make a dent in addressing the fiscal issues we face. At least you've let up on your statements that this is "about the kids." No one was buying that b.s. Teachers, it's time for you to elect new leadership and get rid of the militants currently leading you.
Mark Stein October 09, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Both parties actual "final" offers are public. The Board has only posted its offer on its web site. Anyone who wishes to see both offers, rather than the Board's spin on them, can go to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board's site where both offers are posted. There are plenty of numbers there.
Mark Stein October 09, 2012 at 05:30 AM
The link to the final offer is: http://www2.illinois.gov/elrb/Pages/FinalOffers.aspx
Anonymous October 09, 2012 at 05:40 AM
For every family that has a child that gets LD support, Speech support, or dual language put a sign in front of your lawn. These teachers work beyond 8-5:00 and deserve your support. To David Greenberg I have never seen or heard of such ignorant comments like you make. To all those running for office in HP it is nice to see how you support the teachers as well.....
David Greenberg October 09, 2012 at 09:02 AM
what specific comments of mine do you take exception to, and why?
Lou October 09, 2012 at 10:57 AM
The word, "teacher", miserably fails to define the modern teacher who has become responsible not only for educating the next generation but also for replacing traditional family functions. Teachers are expected to recognize a child's psychological challenge that may interfere with learning and to address them. Teachers today often nourish our children's well being with what used to be the family's function. In our community, often both parents are professionals and do not have the time to wipe away all the tears and actually listen, hear and guide our children, but teachers often fill in the gap, way beyond anyone's imagination. Teachers do not get paid for these second jobs, teachers take care of our kids because that's who they are. And by the way, I don't see many teachers driving around in Audi's or cruising on two week holidays, lounging next to lawyers, doctors or option traders! Do teachers actually make that much money?? Not really. They are making ends meet, they will not get rich from their salaries. Our teachers are sturdy and needed cogs in our kids' developmental wheel, we need to support them, pay them adequately and care for them as much as they care for our kids. The school board should consider rearranging costs at the administrator's level to pay for our teachers' needs.
forest barbieri October 09, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Walter: Nope, David is much more detailed than me as I have A.D.D. and cannot focus as much as he does. Interesting blogs when they get to this point as they tend to bounce off the extreme spectrums so I usually drop out. I just do not see this labor issue as life changing on either side. While I support teachers, as stated, I favor pay for performance over tenure. In addition, I fail to see why we need to be on a Union induced financial arms race with other districts. I look for a mutual fair settlement that precludes a strike which only negatively affects our children. Hopefully both sides can put their big boy pants on!
Ernest October 09, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Any child that has an IEP should get the support of the district no matter what. Those who CHOOSE to have their kids in Dual Language should pay for the privilege. Despite all the protests to the contrary, it's not effective and is a drain on resources because some people feel it would be lovely to have their kids learn Spanish. If I wanted to have my child learn Mandarin/French/Latin I would have to find her a teacher on the outside of nssd 112 system. How telling that if you drop out of the program going into jr high that you would only be placed in second year Spanish. Shouldn't they be more advanced than that given the time and effort put into their education?
BL October 09, 2012 at 12:22 PM
BL It is noteworthy that while the BOE is busy creating catchy statements and charts with “information” from the October 4 bargaining session, the teachers are busy in classrooms, inspiring and encouraging students during the day and preparing lessons at night. Additionally, the community should question the use of the public district website to present these BOE visuals, and also ask why "information" from ongoing negotiations is being shared. The only official information is the September 21 “final offers” from both the BOE and the NSEA, submitted to the Labor Board.
forest barbieri October 09, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Lou: The teachers do perform those additional duties in less affluent districts. Here they have an exceptional base product to work with. Yes they are valued and a most important part of our children's education. The decent ones merely follow the scripted curriculum while the great ones make it interesting and engaging. How do we distinguish added compensation for the great ones? Do not think those teaching students are thinking about Porsches' or Bentleys. It is a rewarding career not a dash to riches.
Jack Straw October 09, 2012 at 02:33 PM
David Greenburg may be guilty of over posting, but in all the strings he writes, I have never seen him make personal insults about others. Folks may not agree with his ideology but really calling him names.
David Greenberg October 09, 2012 at 09:08 PM
@BL: "It is noteworthy that while the BOE is busy creating catchy statements and charts with “information” from the October 4 bargaining session, the teachers are busy in classrooms, inspiring and encouraging students during the day and preparing lessons at night." How so? The BOE is comprised of elected, unpaid volunteers who have other 'day jobs' besides their activities at the School District. If their schedules allow for them to promulgate statements and charts with information from the bargaining sessions - what's wrong with that? The Public has a right to know, kudos to the BOE for posting that information. That it's on the District's Website is a wonderful thing too. Last I checked, the teachers/Union have a few websites up (the IEA, the NSEA each have theirs) - so they can post information there too. If they want to have people visit their websites - they have avenues available to them for making people aware of those websites: * Write a blog post here on The Patch * Post the website addresses here on The Patch * Send letters to the Editor of the Pioneer Press or TribLocal with the website addresses * Stop by the Train Stations and hand out cards with the website addresses on them * Have a few of the picketers put website addresses on their signs instead of 'catchy statements' (e.g. "Sherwood Like To Keep My Insurance") * Send out bulk mailings to everyone in the District with their side of the story, and links to the website.
Anon. October 12, 2012 at 11:31 PM
http://district112teachers.org/informational-flyers/1012-response-to-district-salary-posting/

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