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D124 Teachers on Strike, No Classes Tuesday

The 1,800 students of Evergreen Park School District 124 will not have class Tuesday.

Evergreen Park District 124 students will not have school tomorrow as teachers have decided to strike after Monday night negotiations failed to result in a contract agreement. 

The two sides resumed negotiations at 5 p.m. Monday evening, but did not bridge the contract gap.

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

Read Past Coverage of the 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

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EP Lover October 02, 2012 at 06:00 PM
In response to Concerned, I have emailed Kathy Rohan with support twice. I heard back from her very promptly last week. My second message was today and it was rather mixed. While I still support the Board's financial perspective and feel they made a fair offer to the Union, I am unhappy with the tone of the neogtiation and believe that the Board has failed miserably at managing the communication aspect of the process. For all concerned, the counter offers discussed last night are presented on the following link on the D124 page. Both sides made some concessions. However, I am concerned about the potential reduction in the school year if school days lost to strike are not made up. http://www.d124.org/boardagenda/2012/Neogtiation%20Updates.pdf
R Gibbons October 02, 2012 at 06:26 PM
The legal minimum for an Illinois public school year is 176 days of “pupil attendance.” If a school doesn’t meet that minimum, they lose 1/176th (.56818%) of their state funding for each day they fall short. The Illinois School Code says that “each school board shall annually prepare a calendar for the school term . . . providing a minimum term of at least 185 days to insure 176 days of actual pupil attendance.” Apparently Kathy Rohan is not so well versed in the Illinois School Code when she made the statement that the days that EP Teachers were on strike would NOT be made up. Kathy Rohan cannot make that statement as she is not allowed to shorten the days of attendance necessary for a school year. Days must be made up!! This is the representative of the School Board??? Shame on you Kathy Rohan. Read your laws!!! This statement was aired on Channel 7 this morning.
EP Lover October 02, 2012 at 06:36 PM
R. Gibbons, I had the same thoughts. However, it also doesn't make sense that this is the issue that caused the Union to walk out of the negotiations last night. If it's impossible or unlikely to happen, why strike over it. Additionally, if the Union found the potenial reduction in days detrimental to the children, why would they take a course of action (striking) that would possibly bring about the circumstances that they found so appalling? It just doesn't make sense to me.
Cheryl West October 02, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Is this a labor negotiation or the Board's personal vendetta against the teachers? Rohan's logic to not make up school days hurts the students and teachers of d124. The animosity towards the hard working and excellent teachers of d124 should be directed towards a board who refuses to meet to negotiate until Friday in the midst of a strike. The students of Evergreen Park are clearly not the priority of this Board of Education, while being spiteful towards the teachers is. Do not blame the teachers who dedicate themselves to the education of children, rather look to the misinformed, misspoken, and mistaken D124 School Board. Shame on them.
R Gibbons October 02, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Most likely caused the Union to walk out of the negotiations because a School board member was inappropriately threatening during negotiations instead of keeping to the issues. Union members do not walk out of a negotiations unless there is a break in discussion which was admitted to by Kathy Rohan on Channel 7 this morning which she clearly stated after her statement the negotiations broke off. None of this is detrimental to the children!!! They will be educated and hopefully will continue to be educated by the "highest quality" teachers. Do any of you really want your children to be taught by anyone that holds a college degree? Here's a thought, when you go to a doctor, let's say for a heart condition, do you really want to be looked at and diagnosed by a, let's say, a Podiatrist? Therefore, if you "offer" employment, shouldn't you also "offer" a salary that is attractive enough to "attract" the best? As for improvements to the school, do some of you know that Grants from the State of Illinois are given to the School District to be spent on such things as "computers/technology/curriculum, etc"? The Public School system is not entirely funded by our Real Estate Taxes!!
R Gibbons October 02, 2012 at 07:03 PM
The legal minimum for an Illinois public school year is 176 days of “pupil attendance.” If a school doesn’t meet that minimum, they lose 1/176th (.56818%) of their state funding for each day they fall short. The Illinois School Code says that “each school board shall annually prepare a calendar for the school term . . . providing a minimum term of at least 185 days to insure 176 days of actual pupil attendance.”
Resident of EP October 02, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Our entire community is harmed by this strike.
Resident of EP October 02, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I would reframe your opening question to ask if it is a negotiation or a personal vendetta against the board? I reviewed the final offers made by both sides that are available on the website. Since August 30th the union had not changed its offer. So, last night was the first counter offer provided by the union. It is clear the union does not want to negotiate, as their final offer is basically the same as their offer on August 30th. In contrast, the board has increased its offer to the teachers several times since August 30th in an effort to resolve this negotiation. A negotiation, by definition, requires both parties to make uncomfortable movements towards the center. At this point it appears to me that the teachers feelings are hurt. Repairing relationships requires more than a contract can provide. After this is settled it will take years to heal the damage this has done to the teachers and community.
Not involved October 02, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Stan, did you once get a really bad haircut or something? Please post a picture so we can see the source of all this vitriol --and have a laugh.
nooneyouknow October 02, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I wouldn't worry about the students being hurt by missing a few days, Cheryl. It can be avoided easily if days like, oh, St. Baldrick's Day, fundraising assemblies, movie marathons, etc. are replaced with days of actual teaching. The students won't miss out on any real education if time is used productively.
Alaina October 02, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Stan, Southwest school isn't using tailers, they're using mobiles. And all of the four elementary schools have them, I believe. If not, I know Southeast uses them too. And if it were because of overcrowding, how come they have extra rooms? The sixth graders enjoy the mobiles: they're comfy and quiet, so if that doesn't bother the students, it shouldn't both you. I understand you have a lot of thought and opinions, but we do too, so if you could let us express ours without your selfish comments, you can express yours all you want-to yourself. I was clearly stating my opinion, and you're trying to say my opinion is wrong. An opinion can't be wrong, but thanks anyways.
Kevin October 02, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Were teachers promised things by the previous superintendant during the last negotiation that were never delivered?...also, what value--or lack thereof--do you place on your child's education?...if you ever broke down what the teachers do for little to no compensation, your head would spin...maybe all these self-righteous "educational experts" should spend like 5 minutes in the classroom...teachers, you're heroes to me!!!
R Gibbons October 02, 2012 at 09:44 PM
The Mobiles have been used for over 10 years. Please check the history of the school and you will see that overcrowding has been an issue for a long time. As for the children "approving" of the mobiles, I really don't believe the students at an elementary level would feel appropriate if they complained about something like mobile classrooms. As for 6th graders not having to be in the actual school building and liking it, well,...it just goes unsaid.
Cares about the kids October 02, 2012 at 09:56 PM
It is a shame that people are personally attacked on this blog. It is mean spirited and not necessary. I am sure that both the union and board will find a way to get this over with soon. They need our support, NOT a bunch of opinions and mean comments from all of us.
Tom October 02, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Interesting how the union was able to get out in front of the cameras just in time for the news. They are the ones who walked away from the table because they were intimidated that seems odd. Why does the union have to use Dave Cumberford to craft the message? The Dist website states that the Board's offer is good until Friday.
ParaPro-gal October 03, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Bravo Cheryl! Very well said!! <3
ParaPro-gal October 03, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Thank you Stan for saying it so eloquently! I have always wondered why just "anyone" can run for school board! (it seems that it has turned into a popularity contest) I would also think they would need to have some kind of knowledge of school workings. Dawn can come and do our hair anytime, if she happens to even step into one of our buildings to SEE what we do all day.... that'd be a real shocker! NOT ONE OF THE BOARD MEMBERS EVER COME TO SEE WHAT WE DO ALLLLLLL DAY, EVERY DAY!
Concerned October 03, 2012 at 12:55 AM
You're right, Cares... the dispute is between the Union and the Board. The teachers are just the pawns. We all know the board was elected by the citizens of EP and volunteer their time... who is the Union leadership? Do you know how much Jean Prajean (sp?) makes per year? What is their motive? Why can these well educated, intellegent teachers to whom we trust the education of our children be able to negotiate their own salary and benefits? It's not that difficult... I've never been in a union and have done just fine.
ParaPro-gal October 03, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Thanks Kevin!! I'm sure the teachers, Para-Pro's and Staff will consider you our hero for speaking the TRUTH!! <3
Kelly October 03, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Stan What is your hatred for the Board? More so, for Dawn McNamara? Do you personally know Dawn? Did you know that she previously owned TWO separate hair salons, right in the SW Side of the Chicagoland area, employing several people right from our area? Her previous occupation - she was a Certified Chef, owning her own catering business? She does & knows more than a basic cut & color. But, if you knew Dawn, you would know these things. Dawn has children that are directly affected by this strike. Dawns' husband is a Union man, working for 597 for the last 25+ years. But again, if you knew Dawn, you would know these things. Dawn is one of the strongest, fairest, kindest people I know. But Dawn will not kowtow to bullies. How do I know that, you ask? Well Stan, I'm her sister, her older sister. Did you know that October is National Anti-Bullying month? You know what you are Stan? You're a bully-one that hides behind the facade of email, spewing your venom from the safety of your home. Did you run for the board? Did you ever try to make a difference? What is your story? I don't have the answers to any of this but I certainly will not accuse you of NOT doing these things. Put out your full name. Tell me where you want to meet, for a friendly discussion on the virtues and values of my sister. I'm very interested in hearing what your virtues & values. Don't hide behind the screen of a blog on a neighborhood newspaper. I await your response. Kelly Doyle
siumom October 03, 2012 at 01:51 AM
No meetings have been set for negotiations. To say that the school board will not meet until Friday is incorrect. They may not even meet on that day. Maybe next week if it suits them. They are not in a hurry to finalize a fair contract. That is why there was no meeting today, nothing scheduled Wednesday, nothing Thursday, AND nothing scheduled Friday.
siumom October 03, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Thank you, Kevin. Well spoken!
Kelly October 03, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Para-Pro Gal: I'm sorry, what school is it where you're located? Dawn is in Southeast EVERY DAY. Were you there earlier this year when she was honored by the principal, teachers and students for the GM Hometown hero award due to her tireless work with the St. Baldrick's Foundation? I'm highly doubtful that the majority of the school, including the teachers would be out supporting someone who isn't involved........
ParaPro-gal October 03, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Well, I'm glad to hear she is visiting at least 1 school. I still don't think she is qualified to negotiate a contract.
Kelly October 03, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Because you're an expert at contract negotiations? Does your Union know that your full talents aren't being utilized? Hopefully you've volunteered for the position...
Ann October 03, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Try earplugs
Ann October 03, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Hey ParaPro-gal....Why don't you run for School Board??
Kelly October 03, 2012 at 03:49 AM
Hey Ann - Maybe ParaPro-gal and Stan can run on the same ticket? The Finger-Pointing, Not Going to Do Anything But Criticize Party.....
R Gibbons October 03, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Didn't say "intimidated". I said "a school board member was inappropriately threatening" that the school year would be shortened and days would not be made up. Refer to the Illinois School Code that I quoted.
Dawn McNamara October 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM
ParaPro-gal, I am in the schools, please communicate with your co-workers at Southeast school, a place I'm in frequently.

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