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Teachers, School Board Hunker Down

The Evergreen Park teachers union and D124 school board are trying one last time to settle on a new teachers contract before the union calls a strike on Tuesday.

The fate of whether 1,800 students attend school tomorrow or stay home hangs in the balance as the D124 school board and Evergreen Park teachers union try to work out their differences over a new contract.

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The teachers union's negotiating team entered Central Junior High School at 5 p.m. Monday on a wave of community support and before a phalanx of TV news cameras for one last shot at negotiating a new four-year teachers contract.

Community support for the teachers and paraprofessionals from Dist. 124's five public elementary schools swelled over the weekend with parents wrapping trees with blue ribbons to show their solidarity with the teachers union.

The teachers union and Dist. 124 school board are in contract talks. There is no word if they will work throughout the night to reach an agreement to avoid a strike that has been called for Tuesday morning.

An Illinois Federation of Teachers source told Patch that a top D124 official said to expect an announcement at 8 p.m. Monday. He did not specify what that announcement may be.

Both sides have been in contract negotiations since April. Sticking points are salary, benefits and retirment packages.

Evergreen Park Patch will update throughout the evening and the wee hours of the morning on the outcome of the contract negotiaions.

Sign up for Evergreen Park Patch breaking news alerts for continued updates of the contract negotiations.

Stay strong October 02, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Evergreen park school board please don't give in!!! Someone has to stand up against the greed of the teachers and their unions. Thanks for doing a great job
Stan October 02, 2012 at 04:54 PM
The school board is incompetent. Why should a hair stylist dictate what teachers make? The board is not qualified to assess what is needed for the district. Why would you support a group of people that has no experience?
Lennie Jarratt October 02, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Stan, do you have a list of other professions that should be banned from the school board? Or is it that you just want teachers on the school board?
Stan October 02, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Lets flip the argument: Why don't we let hair stylists police every profession? What should county doctors be paid? Why don't we head down to the salon to find out? Should policeman pay be tied to reduced crime statistics even though such a system would probably lead to rigged stats? Let's leave it up to a hair stylist! Teachers are professional educators but everyone acts like its day care. It's not. The board doesn't have the technical expertise to run a school district. They're incompetent.
Concerned October 02, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Anyone out there that stands with the board (who are all elected and serve voluntarliy, btw) on this one, please take a moment to email Kathy Rohan and tell her so. krohan@d124.org
Lennie Jarratt October 02, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I see you continue straw man attacks without sharing any proof. This appears to be more personal bias and accusations.
Concerned October 02, 2012 at 06:58 PM
The board are elected... you should have campaigned for their opponent if you thought they were incompetent. You'll get a chance to vote them out. Personally, I don't think well educated professionals, such as teachers, even need a union to do their negotiating for them. Accountants seem competent when it comes to dealing with their employer and getting a fair wage for their services. Why can't teachers? They have similar levels of education, licensing, and continuing ed requirements as teachers. The union is the problem here.
Patty S October 03, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Stan, what is your beef with Dawn ?? There are others on the board who are NOT teachers, does hat mean we have to remove them as well ?? I am going to tell you something about Dawn that you should think about. Just because her profession is a hairstylist (not an easy job), she does fundraisers to help the community, she deals with children with disabilities and fights her way through all the tough ordeals of being a mom, a professional, a volunteer and a friend ... So back off Bucko, unless you think you could do better, them clam up and stop belittling people for whom you have no clue how to walk in their shos !!
George K. October 03, 2012 at 12:44 AM
That's exactly right Concerned! There are other professions that require degrees and annual training, not just teaching! Everyone wants more money and there are people all over working 12+ hours per day that don't receive any additional pay! There may be a surplus in the school fund, but it's there for valid reasons! Financial statements don't lie! Some people are just ignorant and don't know how to understand financials or care to understand! The money may appear to be there for raises but really, it isn't! What's going to happen a year from now if something drastic happens and the district doesn't have the funds? Now is not the appropriate time to demand raises!
EP Resident October 03, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Attending Southeast & Central, I am a product of District 124. I have family and friends that are teachers. Yet, I am still on the fence on where my support lies. Teachers are patient, stirn, helpful, and a long list of traits that very few people posses. These teachers are some of my remodels, neighbors, and friends. And I wish that they could have everything they wanted, because I know they are worth it. That being said, I also come from a family who's been impacted by other EP families losing jobs. Ive watched my parents go through benefits coverage changes because nothing's affordable. I know my family isn't the only one impacted by the recession who's watching our teachers ask for more. The school board is saving money for the students and schools. They are making tough decisions even with people like Stan who come on a public forum and bash people without any merit.
EP Resident October 03, 2012 at 01:38 AM
After reading comments here and on another article, I am utterly appalled by the comments of "Stan." Stan, I can tell you that I am lucky to know Dawn. I've watched her give extra money to those in need, despite her expenses. This doesn't include the time she takes off as a hair stylist to shave heads for charity, including her own. I was a broke college student who received a grade A haircuts at an affordable rate, thanks to her. Whatever your thoughts on the board, there is no responsible or respectable reason for your comments. As I'd like to remind you, as others here have, Dawn, was elected by the people of EP. One of her biggest supporters, who I saw before voting, was and is a Dist 124 teacher.   Grow up. I hope students, who are smart because of their teachers, and could be reading this, don't learn to act as ignorant as you. 
Andrew October 04, 2012 at 03:28 AM
I know no one from this...but I am an unemployed teacher that has survived at the mercy of my parents at the age of 31 and with a Master’s Degree! Getting full-time minimum wage jobs only to not be able to invest into my career has been terrible. The union that I've written two letters too asking for help to find a job has never gotten back to me; yet when I get a job they will be at my door for dues. I am sorry but I don't support unions lately, however, they are the only true people fighting for the teachers. The ONLY front line fighters in education and in the classroom. Parents don't understand fully, administrators lose touch...even Unions forget what their demands cost taxpayers! But...no matter what happens in recessions Teachers cannot ever take a cut because they must be fully capable of fighting strongly on the frontline every day!
John Galt October 05, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Kathy, my husband and I do stand with the board. I'm tired of hearing the teachers say that they are fighting for the students! They are fighting for they're own interests. Why are they the only workers that haven't been greatly affected by this economy? I have not had a raise in four years and my health care costs have exactly doubled. My husbands yearly income has also dropped yet our taxes have gone up. We are excited to know that the superintendant has decided not to have the lost days made up by the teachers. Maybe if the teachers feel the ramifications of their decision to strike financially,it will deter others in the future!

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