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EP Teachers' Union Gives Strike Notice

Teachers file paperwork of intent to strike with D124 late Tuesday afternoon.

The Evergreen Park teachers union filed paperwork with late Tuesday afternoon notifying the school board of its intent to strike.

Bargaining talks between the Evergreen Park Federation of Teachers and the school board fell apart Monday evening when both sides failed to reach an agreement on a new three-year contract.

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Following the meeting, that both sides were “no where close” on a new contract.

D124 Superintendent Dr. Robert Machak said the teachers’ union has not yet given the district a specific strike date but the earliest a walkout could take place is Sept. 28.

During negotiating sessions on Monday, Machak said he though the school board had moved considerably closer to the teacher union’s “best and final offer” from Aug. 20.

“I thought it had moved considerably in areas where the union was concerned,” the district superintendent said. “I thought we were closer than a week ago. What is frustrating to me is that the union’s offer hasn’t changed since August.”

Machak added that the school board continues to change and modify its offer but with the union’s unwillingness to budge on its August offer, didn’t leave a lot of room for negotiation.

“I think [the board] is negotiating with themselves at this point,” he said.

Union representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

Per state codes, the district's and teacher union's "best and final offers" will be posted on the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board's website on Thursday.

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Read local coverage about the CTU strike in Beverly-Mt.Greenwood Patch.

EP Lover September 12, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I am obviously not in favor of a teacher's strike and am waiting until tomorrow's info is released to decide whether I support the board's position or that of the teachers. However, no matter what side I come down on, I wouldn't be comfortable 'liking' a FB page, attending a rally or speaking out in a way which identifies me. EP is just too small and there are too many potential repercussions for me to feel comfortable doing so. I know many others who feel the same and don't think anyone should be drawing inferences from FB likes.
Jennifer Valdez September 13, 2012 at 05:38 AM
EP Lover, If you love EP so much how can you just sit back and not say anything??? EP is my home, my community and I don't care what side of Kedzie or 95th these are my schools. I don't want a strike either but what I do want is for people in this community to speak up, wake up and not be afraid to be involved. Its a shame too many people feel there will be repercussions if they do as that's not what this community should be about. I believe our teachers and board can compromise and rebuild but they (both sides) need to see they have this community behind them.
EP Lover September 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Jennifer, I am sitting back and waiting for the data to be presented so that I can make an informed decision (something I wish more people would do). I am not sure what the district finances can support and am waiting to see what the Union asked for and the district responded with before publicly speaking out. Additionally, what will your opinion be if I come out in favor of the board after I read the impasse offers on the IERLB later today? Will you still want to hear my opinion or do you only want people to speak up in favor of the teachers? I sense a great deal of the latter in EP these days and I only wish more people were sitting back, looking at the facts and making an informed decision before rushing to judgement - both on the issue at hand and judging our neighbors for their views. Because of the latter tendancy, I may feel compelled to keep my opinions anonymous b/c of fears of repercussions/backlash. If I felt the people of EP were a bit more open to a constructive discussion, you can bet I'd be talking publicly. Unfortunately, that's not the way it is right now and it is probably more prudent for me to keep quiet or talk only with a few trusted friends. :(
Jennifer Valdez September 13, 2012 at 02:17 PM
EP Lover, I took part last fall in the districts financial task force. The sad thing is not many people from the community gave a damn then about what was going on with the district but I felt it was my duty as a parent and tax payer to know more. We discussed in these meetings various ways to cut costs and increase revenues for the district. There was also a ton of input at these meetings also and alot of ideas brought to the table by everyone involved. It was a very enlighting opportunity and I certainly would do it again. It gave all involved a greater understanding what the district financially faces as yes the school board does have a responsibility to the tax payers to be fiscally responsible. Our culture is set by leadership and it is also a trickle down affect. I agree that for quite some time now this district has become a district of fear and intimidation and that is very sad. It has indeed affected this community, our schools, our teachers but the brunt of it MAINLY AFFECTS THE CHILDREN OF DISTRICT 124. I truly care about public education as a citizen and a parent. I have seen how public education is crucial. I also understand how excellent schools affect civic pride, property values, and the sense of unity in such a diverse place as Evergreen Park. I also understand the problems and opportunities our schools face.
Jennifer Valdez September 13, 2012 at 02:19 PM
As for what will MY opinion be if YOU come out in favor of the board? Well the funny thing about living in a "community: is everyone is entitled to their beliefs, opinions and ideas. One should NEVER feel judged for having an opinion either and I am sorry you feel this way about yourself and this community. Maybe you feel I am too vocal for expressing MY opinion and using MY real name but I am doing it as a voice for the children, not just my kids but for ALL the children of D124. I do not want a teacher strike and I really hope the board and teachers union can fix this at the bargaining table with some compromise. I also hope our teachers don't have to take the brunt of all the cuts as administration should have to feel the cuts and changes also to be fair.

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