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D124 School Board Takes Public Comments on Teacher Contracts

Teachers, parents and community members sound off on stalled contract talks to D124 school board.

Elementary school teachers and paraprofessionals packed into the Central Junior High School gymnasium for the D124 school board meeting on Sept. 19.

Many spoke in support of a fair contract for teachers and support staff from Evergreen Park's five public grammar schools.

Contract negotiations between the Evergreen Park Federation of Teachers and D124 have reached an impasse.

Both sides are due to sit down at the bargaining table on Sept. 24. The teachers union has already filed a strike notice with the district.

The earliest that teachers can walk is Sept. 28.

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Rock Bobster September 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I really wish the Patch had published a notice about this meeting. I don't have children in the district but I pay a serious amount of school real estate taxes there. I had plenty to say about it, but this "insider" meeting excluded many of us. C'mon, Patch, inform and notify! Don't just tell about what HAPPENED in the news, help us be a PART of the news!
TM September 21, 2012 at 01:40 PM
This school board is so full of rotten arrogant people. I know I didn't vote any of them in. Who did? Everyone complains about them, but here they sit deciding about OUR childrens education. Shame on them.
EP Lover September 21, 2012 at 02:10 PM
I was at the meeting and it was far from packed. In fact, my friends and I were surprised that there was relatively light attendance (aside from the teachers).
Jennifer Valdez September 21, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Rock Bobster - The meetings are posted on the districts website. http://www.d124.org/index_meetingdates.html Location: Central Junior High School, 9400 South Sawyer, Multi-Purpose Room (unless otherwise noted) Time: 7:00 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) Date: 3rd Wednesday in Month (unless otherwise noted) Board Meeting Dates 2012-2013 June 20, 2012 July 18, 2012 August 15, 2012 September 19, 2012 October 17, 2012 November 14, 2012 (2nd week in November due to Thanksgiving Holiday) December 19, 2012 January 16, 2013 February 20, 2013 March 13, 2013 (2nd week in March due to Spring Break) April 17, 2013 May 15, 2013 June 19, 2013
Jennifer Valdez September 21, 2012 at 03:22 PM
TM - Next spring, D124 will have 4 seats to vote on for our school board! If you know of any candidates that would like to run, nominationg petitions will need to be completed by December 2012. Please see page 45 on the attached link for criteria. We need people on our school board that truly care about this community and will listen to our concerns. http://www.elections.il.gov/Downloads/ElectionInformation/PDF/2013CanGuide.pdf P.S. I hope everyone gets outs and votes also next spring! Its up to this community if we want change in our district. Its not going to happen at a school board meeting, it is going to happen at the polls.
EP Resident September 21, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Hi Rock - This meeting was the regularly scheduled board meeting that takes place in the district. It was not an insider meeting meant to exclude anyone.
EPTaxpayer September 22, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Where are the clips of the Union worker that doesn't want higher taxes, or the woman from the bank that spoke out against the Teachers Union proposal because E.P. residents pay too high taxes????
kmnr232135 September 24, 2012 at 01:17 PM
EP's school system and the teachers are the sole reason why everyone wants to get into Evergreen....if the schools go....so does the neighborhood....if you believe your taxes are too high....head to Chicago....you'll love it there.....trust me...i'm a resident
Jerolynj September 24, 2012 at 04:22 PM
How do our taxes compare to other school districts in Illinois that are considered to have the best schools?
Evergreen Park School District 124 September 25, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Regarding “EP Teachers, D124 Won’t Budge on Final Contract Offers,” posted 9/21/12: District 124 wishes to address the following statements: (1 of 2 posts) The Board wants to decrease employer contributions to the teacher’s retirement pension: Board has and will continue to pay 4.5% (48%) of the teacher’s annual salary to the Teachers’ Retirement System. Sides remain divided on maintaining the existing salary schedule: The Board and Union have agreed to maintain the salary schedule. They differ on the amount that should be added to the schedule each year. The Board wants to compensate employees based on merit: Board desires employee compensation based on increases in CPI, not merit. Its offer includes a 1% annual bonus based on increases in student growth. The union approved this bonus in the last contract and received the bonuses last year. Interest from $16 million surplus could fund teachers’ salary increases: Union offer increases salaries by $386,000, $413,000, and $436,000 over 3 years, each well in excess of any interest earned; the $16M “surplus” is actually $14.8M. Interest for the fiscal year ending 6/30/12 was $193,179, not $384,000 as reported.
Evergreen Park School District 124 September 25, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Regarding “EP Teachers, D124 Won’t Budge on Final Contract Offers,” posted 9/21/12: District 124 wishes to address the following statements: (2 of 2 posts) Overly-conservative budgeting has padded the district’s nest egg: Reserves are earmarked for building repairs, technology, and retirement benefits. The District budget process remains responsible, respects taxpayers, and maintains an excellent educational system. Perceived lack of District compromise: Union’s final offer remains unchanged since August; the Board’s offer increased significantly since that time. ‘Compromise’ is a settlement of differences by mutual concessions, not the settlement of differences by singular concessions. The D124 Board of Education
Lorraine Swanson (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I did quote the woman who spoke out against the Teachers Union. Unfortunately, my battery ran out on my camera. She was quoted in the story.
Kat September 29, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Everyone sings the praises of teachers, until it is time to pay them. There has to be a better way! I am not for higher taxes, but can't we figure out a better way. I mean if you want the best and brightest in the classrooms than you have to pay a living wage. The best and brightest can do the math and are choosing not to become teachers. Our nation is behind in education. We need to rethink this system. It has to start somewhere.

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