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Patch Poll: Should 109 Teachers Declare Impasse?

Citizens want to know positions of union and School Board.

As negotiations continue between the and some people would like to know the specific positions of the both sides.

Negotiations take place behind closed doors and the only thing Deerfield residents know is what the union and the District choose to disclose unless an impasse is declared by one side or the other, according to Union President Dennis Jensen.

at the time the union voted to give its representatives authority to call a strike. Once an impasse is declared both sides have seven days to make their last and final offer. Those positions will be made public seven days later.

Some Patch readers are ready for the impasse because they want the opportunity to evaluate the demands of both parties. The latest unscientific Patch Poll appearing beneath this story is designed to gauge public interest in the declaration of an impasse.

“Week after week it is ‘Little Progress Made.’ We, the community, have no idea what is happening behind closed doors,” writes Robyn Whiteman. “I am for the impasse. It is time to put all your cards on the table. There will be no more hiding.”

Katie Bittner is willing to go further than learn positions published after an impasse is in place. She is ready to stand on a picket line.

“We will support our teachers as they have supported our children,” writes Bittner. “If this Board cannot come to agreement we will walk with the teachers and support whatever hard decision they have to make.”

Not everyone is siding with the teachers on compensation. Another reader, Carol, thinks teachers are already paid enough. She points out starting salaries are $41,140 and the highest paid teachers receive $111,244.

“There seems to be a perception that our teachers are underpaid or down trodden,” Carol writes. “Only one district, Bannockburn had a higher starting rate of pay. Not only is (District) 109 competitive when it comes to teacher salaries, they blow most other districts out of the water.

John Russillo questions whether Board and administration are trying to break the union. He criticized a Board member who he writes claims “This doesn’t happen in (Township High School) District 113,” which does not have a union.

“We are seeing the type of union-breaking attitude that is, I'm sure, a major factor in these talks,” Russillo writes. “I really don't care whether teachers are unionized or not. But if you are dealing with union teachers you can't act like that.”

Voting in this poll will end at midnight Tuesday. Patch will publish the results Wednesday.

John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Well then your belief is wrong according to the federal government. Take it up with them if you like.
Harry Steindler March 09, 2012 at 11:46 PM
I very much appreciate that many of our teachers, though unhappy with the system and / or the administration, would rather work within the system to make it better for the children and community then to simply bolt for greener pastures as Nonny has suggested. That really says something about who our teachers are. I have known many of our teachers for years and find them to be incredible people and professionals - not only great educators, but the kinds of people we all hope our children will grow up to be like. Let these negotiations play out - the teachers have placed important things on the table - I'm hopeful for a conclusion to these contract talks that will give the teachers the conditions needed to properly take care of all our children - but especially our children with special needs.
KH March 10, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Nonny, you are suggesting that the teachers should leave a situation they are unhappy with instead of trying to improve it? Would you offer yourself the same advice?
M. R. March 10, 2012 at 04:26 AM
According to what the teacher's contract says (which is on the district website), the teachers can only use the grievance process for something that is not followed in the contract (agreement). Sounds like they can't just capriciously file grievances as you suggest.
M. R. March 10, 2012 at 04:31 AM
So instead of trying to get what is needed for the special education students, you feel the teachers should quit working in district 109 instead of fighting for OUR children? Who then is in the front lines that knows what goes on in the schools but the teachers. Not the district administrators who don't even step into the schools? OK, who cares if your kid gets what he needs, as you are saying teachers should just shut up and change jobs if they don't like what's going on in their school. Not even TRY to speak up and get what is right, just shut up or get out! Glad you aren't an administrator in district 109, Nonny, or are you?

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