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Citizen Concern for Teacher Strike Remains Low

Some express concern over situation.

With a possible strike by teachers less than two weeks away, a majority of the lunch time crowd in downtown Lake Forest Wednesday was unaware or unconcerned about the situation.

Unlike a number of Patch readers with passionate views who posted 86 comments as of 6 p.m. Wednesday to , many people were unaware of the potential work stoppage.

“They’re going to strike?” one person from Lake Forest at Market Square said who declined to give a name.

“I’m really not that knowledgeable,” said another Lake Forest resident dining outside Foodstuffs.

Those who offered an opinion see both sides of the issue and hope to see a settlement rather than a work stoppage.

“It’s very disappointing, especially when you just went through it a year ago,” Jeanna Park of Lake Forest said referring to the talks that ended with a one-year pay freeze in November. “They should have settled it then.”

Last fall, teachers were picketing in front of Lake Forest High School and went so far as to declare impasse requiring both sides to make their final offers public. Shortly after that, the teachers and administration agreed to the one year freeze.

Michelle Hans of Lake Bluff feels for the teachers just as she understands the economic realities of the times. “If my husband came home and said and said he was not getting a raise two years in a row I don’t know what I’d do,” she said. “I hope it can be resolved.”

Maggie Marquardt, a 2007 Lake Forest High School graduate who now lives in Evanston, remembers contract strife between teachers and the District 115 School Board is nothing new. “They almost went on strike when I was in school,” she said.

After the Lake Forest Education Association teachers’ union issued its Notice of Intent to Strike Friday, School Board President Sharon Golan told Patch a strike plan was in place. The plan has not been released to the public and no new date has been set for the two sides to hold another round of talks.

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Me August 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Note to School Board: If you back down on this contract you might as well resign now because you will be shamed in your community and voted out at the next election.
Really? August 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Note to Administration: If the teachers strike, call me! I will be more than happy to come in and teach. And, I have friends who will do the same. I am a taxpayer in LF who has seen her property taxes rise 17% in 2 years without income increase. If this Board budges and gives into the demands of pay increases based on years of service plus pay increases, we will all be doomed. They are asking this because many of them are going to retire within the next few years. Their pension is determined by their last few years of service! Our governor is trying to push local school pension liability onto suburbanites! The union knows this. It is all about protecting THEIR future. What about ours? How will I sell my home with a tax burden that will inevitably increase? They are already the highest paid teachers in the state. ENOUGH.
Think August 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM
There are many unemployed teachers, and people with degrees who are capable and willing to work. Let them strike, in life there is always someone to take your place. None of us are irreplaceable.
Think harder August 30, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Clearly people who don't care about a strike don't have children. I'm guessing that this is the same school board chosen by the last ousted district president. Compromise and move on like the rest of the business world must. Teachers, firefighters and policemen deserve to be well paid. I don't mind them having a healthy pension because I'd like to see these jobs require people with degrees. I don't want HS illiterates investigating crimes. Think and the above commentators are simply irrational
Nancy J. Thorner August 30, 2012 at 01:13 PM
The nature of comments noted by those commenting on the looming Sept. 10 teacher strike were indeed perplexing and even shameful. I would have thought that Lake Foresters would be more up on local issue. How could they not know about the teacher strike!? They didn't even seem to know what is involved in regard to the salary issue, as reflected by the demands of local teacher union. Teacher salaries are already tops in Lake County and Illinois. If agreed to by the District 115 board, these increases will become the responsibility of taxpayers. Do those interviewed not even realize that teachers are public employees and do not work in the private sector as they most likely do? Property taxes are the means though which school districts get their funding,
Me August 30, 2012 at 01:41 PM
"Teachers, firefighters and policemen deserve to be well paid. I don't mind them having a healthy pension because I'd like to see these jobs require people with degrees. I don't want HS illiterates investigating crimes." - Think harder Seriously? We are aren't talking about cutting their pay to a subsistence level and hiring only illiterates. This is simply about having them pay their FAIR SHARE of their pensions (just like we all are required to do in the private sector) and to limit their GUARANTEED salary increases. I am not aware of any non-union private sector employer that guarantees that employees will get an annual salary increase with the only requirement being that the employee maintains a pulse.
Joe August 30, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Just drove by the west campus and saw a sign near the road for "substitute teacher training". I hope this includes replacements for the current teachers who seem hellbent on striking September 12. If not, when will we see ads seeking replacement teachers?
Gary August 30, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Don't let that picture with the "NO PAY CUTS" sign above or the comments about a pay freeze mislead you. They are already being offered a very generous pay increase. This is from the http://www.lfhs.org/board/statement_81712.html web site: "When the salary step cost, base salary increase, stipends, and interest payments, are added together, the LFEA is proposing annual salary increases of 5.6%, 6.5%, and a final year increase of between 4.76-6.57%" I wish I had that guarantee for the next 3 years. Any rational person would accept that offer in this economic environment. Our teachers are taking our children hostage.... for what? What's their gripe? The only justification we've seen reported is that "the money is there". So apparently as long as there is an expensive imported car in someone's driveway, a pool in someone's backyard, or a dime left in anyone's investment fund... the teachers of Lake Forest High School will stake claim to it and will continue to strike until there is "no money there". We better consider what that means because that's exactly what's happening. These teachers need adult supervision. They are draining the reservoir of good will we have for our educational institutions at an astonishing rate, and then they'll complain about being attacked after ripping the community apart for no sane reason. They have been granted the benefit of the doubt in the past, and now they are proving they don't deserve it.
John August 30, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I'm with those that want the Board to hold the line. Our teachers are more than fairly compensated..
Really? August 30, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Thank you, Joe. I will pass the word!! I know plenty of qualified unemployed that will be ready & willing.
RationalTht August 30, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I have children, but enough is enough. It seems like the teachers want TWO raises - one based upon years of service and a second "just because". This is on top of the cadilac health plans (according to the ACA I guess) they have. We taxpayers are getting sucked dry - it is time for teachers to understand this. WE DO APPRECIATE THEM, and the residents of district 115 are VERY supportive of their schools, but these past 5-6 years have been tough on us, during which time the teachers CONTINUED to get raises (except for last year).
RationalTht August 30, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Any parents better stay away, no matter how much you may want the work. Not sure if our children could handle the "repercussions".
Me August 30, 2012 at 04:46 PM
I agree with RationalTht. We don't need parent teachers. However, we do need a strong School Board with enough backbone to stare down the teachers union on this strike threat. For all those who think that the school will fall apart if we lose some of the teachers, that is just union scare tactics. There is no doubt that some will leave. That always happens and it is usually a good thing.
RationalTht August 30, 2012 at 04:52 PM
@Me - I am sure there are some highly qualified people here in LF that either were or could be great teachers. It is just not worth the potential revenge enacted on the children by the teachers.
Me August 30, 2012 at 06:19 PM
@RationalTht - If you there is any retaliation then that needs to be dealt with quickly and harshly. It is the job of the Superintendent to handle issues like that. Hopefully e will be able to earn his generous compensation package by keeping this to zero. It is the job of the School Board to be certain that he does his job and it is the job of all taxpayers to be certain that the School Board does its job. We all fell asleep at the wheel when we allowed Harry Griffith to take control of the Board. That is not likely to happen again.
UnionBuster August 30, 2012 at 06:48 PM
These teachers should be ashamed of them selfs. They make twice as much as they should in the first place. They don't know what its like to work a real job where what you put in is what you get out. The teachers work HALF of the year and are out the door EXACTLY when the bell rings. There are days in my job where i work through the night into the morning. I work many week ends as well and i get payed a hell of a lot of money. Sometimes i don't even know what to do with it but thats another story. The point is they don't do much work so they shouldn't expect to make much money. Its that simple. I am ashamed my kids have to sit through classes listening to these people.
UnionBuster August 30, 2012 at 07:38 PM
@Think harder your comments are simply irrational. Have you watched the news. We can't keep promising all these public employees all of this money. Get realistic with your self. Once every one is fed up with what the democrats are trying to do with this country republicans will be elected and cut pensions like the great Scott Walker did.
Really? August 30, 2012 at 08:51 PM
My children have long left this district. I could use the job and am qualified. I know other women and recent graduates that would love the opportunity.
George Eliot August 31, 2012 at 05:46 AM
The issue should not be whether the Board should cave in to the union's demands but rather whether the Board should take the current, very generous offer off the table. Most taxpayers had no idea how much we were paying to educate our children and this high-profile campaign to wring the last buck out of the taxpayers has really been an eye-opener to a lot of us. Thanks to the writers who brought all this to the forefront; the taxpayers in this town have had the wool pulled over their eyes for far too many years. We are not against hard-working, quality teaches getting well-compensated. However, when half of our exorbitant property tax bill is going to fund schools and when we personally are paying $2,650 a month for the same health care premiums the teachers get for free or close to free, we are looking for our School Board to be unrelenting so that we might enjoy just a tad of relief.
Joe August 31, 2012 at 02:24 PM
The LF teachers are acting like pigs at the trough. -Until last year they had been receiving 6% increases each year. -A brand new teacher earns more than $50,000 per year -The average LF teacher earns over $100,000. -Protection through tenure after 4 years -Little in the way of performance measurement -Free family health insurance -24% increases over the last 4 years of their careers to boost their lifetime pension. -Sizable bonuses at retirement. -Automatic 3% annual increases in their pension. -A 9 month work year. As taxpayers we are paying for all of this. And where has it gotten us? The LF Union has announced that they will go on strike on September 12 if they don't get MORE. The 3% raise and modest sharing of health care costs that has been offered is so outlandish they can't possibly agree to it. So they will go on strike and once again threaten to throw our children under the bus to satisfy their needs. It's time to put these pigs on a diet.
Me August 31, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.
Bob August 31, 2012 at 06:13 PM
The teachers are nuts!
therealnut September 01, 2012 at 12:34 AM
No Bob I think you have that wrong. Check out Me's comments. That is what nuts is. Anyone who spends all his time screaming, threatening board members, and excessively responding to articles and posts is somebody who definately qualifies for the nuts award!
Me September 01, 2012 at 01:13 AM
@therealnut - Why thank you. It is kind of you to be concerned about my mental health. If you want to see excessive I could direct you to another prolific poster on the Patch but that would be pointing fingers. Instead, I would like to question where the threats are in my posts. I can't recall ever threatening anyone. Telling School Board members that they will be voted out of office if they cave in to the teachers union's excessive demands is hardly a threat. It is simply the way things work in this great country.
takeabreak September 01, 2012 at 02:57 AM
@Me, I think you need to take a bit of a break. You get quite worked up over this stuff and you excessively post.
Think harder September 01, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Well I've learned my lesson about posting- people don't read, and see only what their meanspiritedness dictates. Note my post which says "compromise." Apparently in the posting world full of vitrol, "compromise," has never before been utilized. You see, "compromise," means that both interested parties take less than they would like...including teachers.You folks are incapable of being civil.

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