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Geneva Talks Continue As Evergreen Park Teachers Strike, Other Districts Show Intent

The 1,800 students of Evergreen Park School District 124 will not have class today, while Highland Park and Prairie Grove have authorized walkouts. The situations have similarities and contrasts to ongoing talks in Geneva School District 304.

Evergreen Park District 124 students will not have school again today. Teachers decided to strike after Monday night negotiations failed to result in a contract agreement. 

Strikes also are being considered in Highland Park and Crystal Lake, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

The scenarios playing out in Evergreen Park and other suburban school districts have some similarities and many contrasts with teacher contract negotiations in Geneva School District 304.

Teachers in North Shore School District 112 in Highland Park notified the district Friday on their intent to strike and could walk out as soon as Oct. 12. Prairie Grove Consolidated District 46 teachers in Crystal Lake have authorized a strike but have not set a strike date.

Geneva teachers have been working with pay and benefits since the previous three-year contract expired in August. 

The North Shore Education Association and school board began talks in April, and teachers there have worked without a contract since Aug. 21.

The only issue publicly discussed in Geneva so far is a "salary freeze" mentioned by members of the Geneva Education Association at School Board meetings.

In Lake Forest High School District 115, the district proposed salary increases over the next three years of 2.6 percent, 3.4 percent and 3.4 percent, the Chicago Tribune reported. By comparison, the teachers have asked for raises of 5.6, 6.5 and 5.6 percent, the newspaper reported. The newspaper reported that the district also asked teachers to begin paying for a percentage of their insurance.

In Evergreen Park, teachers rejected a four-year contract offer that would have increased their share of health insurance costs while decreasing their retirement benefits, the Tribune reported.

The district has posted a list of learning resources that parents can use to keep children academically active while off from school.  

Read Patch Coverage of the Evergreen Park Contract Negotiations:

  • Last Chance for EP Teachers and D124 to Avoid Strike
  • Scenes of a Protest: EP Teachers Stage Noisy Rally on 95th Street
  • Threat of EP Teachers Strike Looms
  • EP Teachers Set Oct. 2 Strike Date
  • No Agreement In D124 Contract Talks

Read Patch Coverage of the Lake Forest High School District 115, District 45 and Prairie Grove Negotiations:

  • D-46 Teachers Union Files Impasse in Contract Negotiations
  • Prairie Grove Teachers Disappointed with Monday Negotiations Session
  • Cary Teacher Explains Impact of Imposed Contract
  • Progress Reported in Prairie Grove District 46 Teachers Negotiations
  • Poll: What Do You Think of the Lake Forest Teachers Strike?

Read Patch Coverage of the Highland Park School District 112 Negotiations:

  • Readers React to Strained District 112 Negotiations
  • Getting Immersed in District 112 Teachers' Contract Negotiations
  • District 112 Teachers Take First Step Towards Strike
  • District 112 Teachers Rally Before Board Meeting
  • District 112 Teachers File Intent to Strike
  • District 112 Teachers Explain Intent to Strike

Other Sources

Bob McQuillan October 04, 2012 at 03:02 PM
How do you know information that is supposed to be confidential? Why not sure your information with everyone? Who is your source?
Max October 04, 2012 at 08:49 PM
What? And reduce the ability of the GEA, IEA and NEA to intimidate and extort their way to ever-fatter pay and benefits for their members? But yes, there are alternatives. The best are called Private Schools. The next best, and the alternative which should be available to every child in every community -- and would be, if not for the legislators in the pocket of the NEA -- is the voucher system. Vouchers allow parents to choose the school likely to provide the best education for their children, the school whose teachers are committed to their profession and to the children they teach. As it is, the "Education" Association (Union) typically threatens (and sometimes carries out its threat) to harm the community it claims to serve, by disrupting children's education, parents' work schedules, and family organization just so that parents (voters) will surrender ever-larger portions of family income to Teachers. (cont'd)
Max October 04, 2012 at 08:52 PM
(part 2) Teachers' Union intimidation sometimes works for the teachers because public education in the USA is the locus of government-protected waste and inefficiency on a scale one normally expects only from the Defense industry. On the street, this sort of intimidation for profit is a criminal act -- usually associated with organized crime (e.g., the Mafia). But for unions, it is standard procedure. In schools, among the student population, we call it "bullying", and parents and school administrations everywhere are working to eradicate it. For unionized Teachers, however, it is the expected form when it comes to feathering their own nests. The best response to a bully has always been a swift punch in the nose. When teachers choose to harm their students and their community by striking, in spite of a contract offer which is reasonable in our current economy, then the appropriate response is to swiftly replace them with the best applicants from the hundreds available. Once striking teachers are replaced, the District will never again face a credible strike threat by teachers -- the Teachers union will have lost its appeal to potential members, just as it is losing respect today within our community.
GenevaMom October 04, 2012 at 11:24 PM
As one of MANY certified teachers in Kane County who would LOVE to be able to return to teaching now that my children are older (but cannot because we have master's degrees and cost to much for the district 304 to hire!)...I would like to remind the union at how fortunate they are that their members have a job with great pay and benefits in this economy. How many of the families of your students have lost jobs, lost homes, taking huge paycuts in salaries and benefits in the past few years? Plenty!!! Families everywhere are suffering in this economy and yet you keep asking for more. As a former teacher I understand how hard you work.I wish we could pay every teacher $100,000 for a job well done but the reality is we live in a new economy. You cannot expect a threat of strike and a demand of "respect" via pay increase" to entice us to support your threat of strike. We already respect you for the wonderful work you do for our children. But remember, you have a job and benefits that are pretty darn good while many of your student's families are struggling. If you strike, just remember there are thousands of highly qualified applicants who want your job.
1concernedparent October 04, 2012 at 11:36 PM
While it is important to recognize the excellence of the teachers in Geneva, a lot of the rankings and test score reflect on the demographics of the students and the involvement of the parents. I don't think they would be getting these kinds of kudos and rankings in Elgin or Aurora because parent education and parent involvement have a great impact on the student's ability to succeed. Our teachers are wonderful, but they teach in Camelot. They should recognize this when asking for more because, honestly, there is probably a pile of resumes a mile high of qualified teachers who would love to have their jobs. Geneva teachers, please put the students first, do not strike, and be grateful for the contract the school board has offered.

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