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Readers React to the End of the Teachers' Strike

After a day-long strike and an over 14 hour-long bargaining session, Highland Park's elementary and middle school teachers have reached a tentative agreement with the District 112 School Board.

Highland Park residents are still awaiting more details about the tentative agreement reached by the city's elementary and middle school teachers' union and school board after one day of striking and over 14 hours of bargaining earlier this week.

District 112 Contract Negotiations: The Story So Far

But that's not stopping readers from sharing excitement that the strike has ended.

"I am pround of our teachers, but am also pround of the board," writes Lee on Patch.

Many readers hope that the end of the strike means the beginning of a more in-depth conversation about the district's finances.

"All of us need to accept that this district must undergo a dramatic redesign in order to avoid this exact situation in two to three years when the teachers' contract is up again," writes Samantha Stolberg.

What do you think of the news? Where do you think District 112 should go from here? Leave a comment or submit a blog post.

Richard Heineman, who has been very involved in District 113's long-range planning, took a similar perspective.

"One of the most important things to come out of this process is the knowledge that there is much to do in District 112," he writes. "Let's get started."

One Indian Trail teacher tweeted her joy that she was able to return to her students on Wednesday.

"So excited to be going back to the classroom!" reads a tweet by Stefanie Labellarte. "Thanks for all of your hard work, negotiations team and HP for the support!"

Of course, not everyone was happy to see the strike end.

"I have a very unhappy 10 year old," writes Joe. "No, not pro-union or pro-teacher, just pro strike, had his whole day planed out."

For more updates about the District 112 "like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Longtime HP Resident October 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Net-Net does this impact our property taxes?
Richard H Heineman Jr October 19, 2012 at 02:04 PM
No, it does not. The taxes collected are limited to the current levy plus a percent increase based on the Tax cap. This, as I explained in an earlier post is limited to the rate of inflation plus a very small amount based on new constriction. Your individual taxes are based on the assessed valuation of your property as a percentage of the district's entire assessed valuation.
Daniel October 19, 2012 at 02:16 PM
How come the neither the Union or the District has released the terms of the settlement? Even Chicago did right away. Taxpayers are paying shouldn't we know the details before the contract is approved. Reminds me of Obamacare when Nancy Pelosi stated that we should pass the bill and then read what is in it. Funny how the District would put up their proposals after every negotiating session, compare it to the Unions and claim that they were being transparent. What happened to the transparency?
R.G. October 19, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Daniel: At this point it is only a tentative agreement and hasn't even been shared with the teachers. Chicago had an additional strike day to discuss the contract details. The teachers and the district decided it was best to get everyone back in school first, then work on getting out the information (I don't think anyone would disagree that getting everyone back to school was the best decision here). The tax payers do not get to approve the details of the contract. It is collectively bargained between the BOE and the Union.
Richard H Heineman Jr October 19, 2012 at 02:36 PM
The next Board of Ed meeting is Nov 20. This is where the board would approve the contract. It would not surprise me if they decided to meet earlier to finalize the process.
Daniel October 19, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Why not be transparent and let everyone know what is in it before the School board approves it? We are paying for it, don't we have the right to see the details?
Daniel October 19, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Doesn't sound like a legal issue to me. I guess were just not mature enough to know what are elected School Board agreed to until after it is approved. For weeks people on both side of the issues have sounded off on these boards and now it seems like the public does not care about the terms of the agreement. Glad we made such a big deal about the strike.
Jack Straw October 19, 2012 at 06:08 PM
The agreement that was worked out between the party’s still need to be voted up or down by the union members. Board of education also needs to approve the terms, then it will become a contract at this point the public will have access to the agreement.
Jack Straw October 19, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Sorry Daniel, needed to point this out you voted on a Board Of Education, so you gave them the bargaining rights in all contractual matters.
Daniel October 19, 2012 at 06:19 PM
It would be nice to let the public see the agreement before they voted on it. God forbid they would want to be transparent or allow public comments before it is approved. By the way, when we voted for the school board there was nothing on the ballot that said they could not be transparent on contractual matters. How come they were willing to disclose the School Board offers during negotiations but won't disclose the final agreement before they approve it.
Jack Straw October 19, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Good question, I would think the union would have a non-disclose until their members voted. Also it might be possible to raise objections to the proposal at the public segment of the Boards meeting.
Richard H Heineman Jr October 19, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Before we get all conspiracy theory about this can we explore the idea that they have lots of things to do and posting this information might not be the highest priority. It is the start of a new year and there is always an overload of work in the administrative offices. They then spent a huge amount of time on the contract. I prefer that they run the district for a while before they spend the time to put this information out.
Daniel October 19, 2012 at 07:56 PM
That is really a lame excuse. If they had the time to post all their offers during the negotiations surely they would have the time to post the final agreement. Maybe have one of the administrators that make over 300k take a few minutes and let the public know what is going on.
Walter (Tripp) Hainsfurther October 19, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Joe, why would you think that? Maybe the BOE doesn't want details released? Maybe neither side does. Maybe the non-union teachers at 113 have an issue with it. Calm down and take a deep breath, please.
Daniel October 19, 2012 at 08:08 PM
The original article about the strike being settled stated that the terms of the agreement would be released "soon". I guess a month is soon . Why would you want the public to know what they are on the hook for? They could always post a disclaimer that would make their lawyers happy.
Jack Straw October 19, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Tripp, what do you mean calm down, I was giving plausible explanations, far from conspiratorial. So read what I posted calmly.
Jack Straw October 19, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Tripp, what do you mean calm down, I was giving plausible explanations, far from conspiratorial. So read what I posted calmly.
Daniel October 19, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Maybe somebody from the Board could tell us.
Richard H Heineman Jr October 19, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Note that this is what I said, not the board or the administration.
Samantha Stolberg October 19, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Right now the lawyers are probably working through the language of the contract. That takes time.
Jerry Hopkins October 19, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Joe, did you say something?
Jack Straw October 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Excellent, Jerry glad to have the elementary school kids join in the discussion. We will try to keep it simple for you ok.
Walter White October 19, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Jerry you are obviously not a professional.
AGF October 20, 2012 at 02:37 AM
This could be a rumor but I heard, the BOE gave Dada a bonus for settling the contract so quickly. How could we find out? If this is the case we have a Park District Board all over again, time to clean house!!
David Greenberg October 20, 2012 at 04:49 AM
File a FOIA request with D112 and ask for it.
Richard H Heineman Jr October 20, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Before you use a FOIA try asking. There is extra expense and paperwork involved in FOIA. It is my experience that asking works better. Why add extra expense when the problem is a lack of money.
David Greenberg October 21, 2012 at 03:13 AM
I agree, it's extra paperwork - but in many cases the FOIAs wouldn't be necessary if the Districts operated more transparently and the information was readily available to begin with.
Anon. October 21, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Everyone needs to relax and be patient before costing the district even more money on a FOIA request or other. The teachers do NOT even know the details of the tentative agreement. Very expensive lawyers are putting it all in writing since 17 hours of bargaining did not include that step, apparently. The only people aware of the details of the agreement are those that were sitting at the tables - not even administrators (those not on the BoE team) know the details either. Lots of anxiety in waiting but better than making more work for any of these people by initiating a FOIA request.
MS October 30, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Have we found out the terms of the settlement? Are they waiting until after the election to tell us what it will cost us?
Samantha Stolberg November 26, 2012 at 02:58 PM


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