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As Strike Ends, Let New Era Begin

Let the end of the D124 teachers strike be the start of something positive for the Evergreen Park community.

After almost two weeks the Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124 teachers strike ended in the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 12. 

It was a long two weeks for everyone. It was hard on the teachers, the school board, parents and most importantly, students.

It’s not an easy thing for a community to go through. Neighbors were divided against neighbors, with differing views on what is fair not only for the district but for the whole of Evergreen Park. It’s something that has the potential to create deep and continuing divides. Throughout the tense negotiations harsh words were bandied about on both sides. 

Neither side ended up with everything, or probably much of what they wanted. That's the nature of a strike and labor negotiations. You hope to give as much as you get. 

Parents were often left frustrated, shut out from the decisions that were not only affecting their child's education, but could very well be affecting the future of their community. 

The simple fact is the strike is over. 

Our wish is that the entire community gets a fresh start. A chance to take a step back from everything that was said, to breathe deeply and start over. Nobody benefits when a community is torn apart. 

What we hope you take from this strike are a few lessons that can be used to inform the future of Evergreen Park. A mid-strike community meeting was attended by hundreds of residents. They showed up because they cared. 

That willingness to show up and be heard should continue. We hope residents stay engaged, attend school board meetings, start paying attention to the village board and maybe even map out a few ways they can get active in their community. 

We also hope that elected leaders recognize the importance of an informed public and continue to speak directly to their constituents in an open way. 

A few months from now the strike will be a memory. We hope you can wrestle away a few seeds of positivity from this time and and use those as the start of something positive.

Let's not settle for a divided community, let's work to grow an even better one.  

EP95 October 16, 2012 at 05:42 PM
The details of the contract, when released, should be scrutinized by the taxpayers and parents. The SouthTown reported that the teachers ratified 136 to 43. Some of them are still not satisfied. Where will this leave us after the term of this contract expires, now that a precident has been set...that a teachers strike is acceptable. Every action has a consequence, so don't be shocked when the community divides over such a thing. An olive branch is fine and dandy, but don't mistake awareness for hostility, either.
R Gibbons October 16, 2012 at 07:37 PM
They ratified it. It's done! What happens in two years is a new contract. They will renegotiate the terms then. Move on. It's between the employees and the school district.
EP95 October 16, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Details are not to be released until both sides approve, per the SouthTown, so I don't know how you know it's a two year contract. It is important for the public to be aware of the terms, and evaluate how it impacts our budget, for future demands. Please follow your own advice and move on as well, the taxpayer has a role in this process. Also, you may want to state your own opinion without constantly commenting on other posts, you know..in the name of peace and olive branches.
R Gibbons October 16, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Oooo, nasty!!! Well you know best! So i will consider myself told. Have a nice day : ) !
I care October 17, 2012 at 01:38 PM
R Gibbons, what other stats do you know of? What % has the teachers overall package increased over the past 10 years? What was the national average? It sounds like you might be a teacher. Please educate me!

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