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What Would a Teachers' Strike Mean to Football Season?

As negotiations drag on between the union and school board, fall sports seasons could be impacted by strike

With negotiating teams from the and the meeting with a federal mediator today, ?

Should the two sides reach an agreement there will be no worries for the many Lake Forest High School student athletes but if they do not, there could be a work stoppage as early as Sept. 11, three games into the football season.

A teacher's strike would not just send students home from school just as they begin fall classes. It could also leave athletes not just out of the classroom, but from the field of play.

All fall sports teams began officially practicing August 8. They include football, boys’ and girls’ golf, field hockey, boys’ and girls’ cross country, boys’ soccer and girls’ tennis. All, with the exception of football, have begun playing games. The Scout football team entertains Buffalo Grove at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

According to the Illinois High School Association bylaws, in the event of a teachers’ strike, "no team or other entity representing a member school may participate in an interscholastic contest or activity during the time the member school is not in session".

This could be interpreted as saying teams cannot practice or play games if there is no school. But Illinois High School Association communications director Matt Troha said that is not the case.

"They can hold practices as long as the school administration and school board approve and licensed coaches can continue to coach," Troha said, adding that sometimes the teacher's union will not let coaches mentor players if they are also teachers.

Not all coaches are faculty members while others, like Scout football coach Chuck Spagnoli, is a member of the faculty. He had no comment when questioned by Patch. 

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Joe August 23, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Typical union stunt. Use our kids as pawns in their efforts to extract 6% raises and retain their free health insurance. How humiliating for the teachers who really do care about the children. The board could say yes and end this now. But they are spending taxpayer money. Are you prepared to pay higher taxes to cover out of line teacher salaries and benefits? Send a message to the union that its time to wake up. It's 2012 and the world has changed.
Me August 23, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Who cares. Let them strike and we will see how much sympathy the community shows them.
Clc August 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM
This is not the time to ask for pay increases, millions are unemployed and all have suffered. Be thankful for a job. I am ashamed of the union.
DA August 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Seriously, are you forgetting that these kids are students first? There are way more important things to be concerned about in case of a strike than football or any other sport. How about the impact on an education?
LF parent August 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM
As many community homeowners and parents suffer with income losses and struggle to cover the expenses related to living in the school district, the union seeks to further stress the situation. We'd all like to have free health coverage and unrealistic 6% income raises. But the reality is that the the private sector is reducing health insurance coverage, requiring empoyees to pay a greater portion of the benefits and reducing salaries. Let the union strike; the residents who pay the taxes to cover the education expenses will see the true colors of the teachers...it's green. Let the teachers walk! The education they provide can be provided by new hires; the legions of under-employed teachers that would love to teach in this community.
Nancy J. Thorner August 23, 2012 at 01:07 PM
What, if anything, is District 115 doing to prepare for a strike? Have substitute teachers been alerted? If Board 115 were really interested in holding the line, they should be mobilizing substitute teachers now. Hopefully the board is not just feigning holding the line momentarily on salaries, with no intention of allowing a strike to happen, because they know that cuts in teachers salaries would affect the very generous salaries administrators and staff members also receive.
marco sangria August 23, 2012 at 02:02 PM
i think we have great teachers at LFHS. However, we all can be replaced. Your retirment benfits are rich, your working conditions/environment above average and you receive a fair pay. So, if you continue to act like a hog you will end up like one - slaughtered. The community is not of the mind set to support your demands at this time.
Concerned Parent August 23, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I agree with those who say the focus should be on school not on sports. I think the demands of the teachers are unrealistic in this economic environment. Stop being greedy and be grateful you have a job.
LF parent August 23, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Amen Marco! I was just at a parent orientation at one of the community schools and the majority of the parents I spoke with expressed your exact sentiments. Union members not happy? There may be substitute teacher jobs in Chicago school system...no guarantees.
Gary August 23, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Football? Is that the right priority for our community? This is turning into a farce. Our teachers are among the highest paid in the country. Why are we negotiating with a union? The purpose of a union is to collectively protect the individual worker against: 1. Being coerced into working in hazardous conditions... our teachers are in a safe environment. 2. Being underpaid ... we pay top dollar. 3. Being unfairly treated by management ... the management (the taxpayers) have been very fair to our teachers, and would continue to be fair regardless of their union association. I just don't understand why we negotiate with the union. Offer each teacher a reasonable deal and replace those who refuse. We have to get the control of our schools back in the hands of the taxpayers.
Joe August 23, 2012 at 03:51 PM
The Board needs to hang tough in the face of this union GREED. Look at the salaries of some of the teachers: Gress, Charles $149,852 Gigiano, Thomas$104,785 Gilbert, Scott $118,609 Abrams, Ryan $90,802 Alexander Collier, Cindy $93,208 Antrim, Wendy $132,483 Aronson, Steve$81,721 Barndt, Darren $103,829 Bassill, Robert $91,500 Benson, Rhonda$151,701 Berkshire, Jacqueline$125,969 Bielski, Carolyn$98,605 Birtman, Amy $104,321 Bower, Diane $120,567 Brandes, David$142,452 Brown, Denise $121,219 Burkhalter, Timothy $137,306 Chantler, Julie $113,140 Christofylakis, Elizabeth $88,433 Clark, Carol $101,263 Clark, Diane $151,530 Clegg, Laura $112,843 Clegg, Stephe$133,945 Coad, Daniel $130,594 Cooney, Tama$134,325 Davenport, Candice $110,663 De Rosa, Joseph $96,025 DeBartolo, Laura $82,809 Del Fava, Raymond $116,977 Donlon, William $124,643 Doucette, Melissa $105,762 Douglass, Stephen $101,430 Dukats, Mara $94,973 Dunn, Stephen $93,551 Eccleston, Jane$102,732 Ferges, Lance $111,065 Finley, Christopher $109,777 Flangel, Laura $107,596 Freedman, Keith$128,428 Gantt, Lloyd $135,403 Gatta, Jennifer $78,243 Gibson, Laura $142,201 Goldstein, Paul$84,295 Haskett, Timothy$130,099 Hawkins, David$127,865 Heroux, Kathryn$130,695 Hoak, Bradford$129,221 Horan, Sandra $122,846 Jensen, Elizabeth $127,347 Jerch, Janie $134,242 Johnson, Pamela $131,344
LF parent August 23, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Compare these salaries to other area school systems. Outrageous to think there is an 'entitlement' to the pockets of the community taxpayers. Again, hire qualified, under-employeed teachers that would be grateful to exchange jobs, incomes and benefits. Check the internet; plenty of applicants from Cook Co. system.
Me August 23, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Football is irrelevant. This is all about the fiscal integrity of our community. If the teachers feel that we are being unreasonable, let them take their services to the market and see how the market values them. The taxpayers are willing to take the risk that we might be forced to pay more for qualified replacements.
Nancy H August 23, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I can't believe that all of the teachers are happy about where their union is taking them. A strike would be devastating for everyone, but I think the Board should take that threat out of the equation. Without real pension reform, we simply can't absorb the long term liability that the union's demands create. The whole system is on the verge of collapse. What a mess.
kenpowers August 23, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Fire them all, they have the some of the highest salaries in the state. How come the occupy wallstreet idiots are not occupying them, because what they are doing is greed?
Phil Gayter August 23, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Totally agree here. We have a strike issue on the table and the headline asks what happens to the football season - give me a break
Albert Boese August 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM
A strike would be an insult to the district, the parents and the kids. If the teachers want to lose any respect that may be left, just strike and the community and the kids would be outraged. Consider the residual toxic relationship with the teachers that would permeate the community. I say, do a Ronald Reagan, let them strike and bring in a whole new team. Will the Board please stay firm? There is no reason to blink, you hold all the cards. Al Boese, Lake Bluff
Hostage August 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Why did you have to publish this list? I won't name names, but some of those people border on incompetent, which i know from first hand experience. All the more reason to revamp the process with a focus on achievement!
Robert Jr. August 24, 2012 at 01:36 PM
This is for 9 months work- ridiculous!
Robert Jr. August 24, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Taxation withour representation means give us back our money, you do not have the right to extort the public and withhold public education. Since there is an impasse - fire the Board, and any strikers also get fired.
Robert Jr. August 24, 2012 at 01:39 PM
This is a coordinated threat, coordinated with other school districts, and as such , represented orgnaized extortion. It is due, in part, to a state that runs corruptly and illegally and which has defrauded teachers of e funded pension program. Fire the people who had their hands in the funding mechanism and responsibility for funding the pension system, and in addition, have legal charges ready to go for misappropriation of funds.
LFHS Football Mom August 25, 2012 at 07:43 PM
And if it were track season, would you feel the same way?
Ted August 26, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Al, You are so right. These teachers are grossly overpaid, at the top of the scale nationwide, and they want more, more, more.....They aren't worth it. We would all be better off if they left our community..they aren't part of it anyway! People don't realize the LFEA, the cute cover name for our teachers union, is really the SEIU, the hardball union that only cares about itself and has said they could care less about the children until they become union paying dues members.
mentally sane August 26, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Dear god, you all sound like a bunch of paraniod and mentally unstable people. Arguing your position is a healthy normal part of conflict. However, this whole conspiracy theory and everyone is out to get us mentality comes off more as a serious mental health problem. This is the United States of America. People are allowed to negotiate and have freedom to bargain. May be time to seek out some mental health services for those of you who are getting a bit over the top. Oh, and by the way - Im not exactly in favor of 6% raises and would agree about the economic situation and people having to adjust to it.
Ted August 26, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Hey crazy lady (or dude) or mentally sane as you think of yourself, You in fact are the one that sounds deranged. No one on this site appears unstable or out of control. Most just want our kids educated in a decent school and feel we as a community have paid dearly for this privilege. Is that paranoia? I don't believe our teaching staff deserve a 6% pay raise and no raise is warranted at this time as they have had outsized raises in the past that have caused their salaries to become too high and stress the taxpayers too much. Hold the line on pay increases. If they demand more, let them look elsewhere for it! Just my opinion.
LF parent August 27, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Dear Mentally Sane (or so you say), As you said, "This is the United States of America. People are allowed to negotiate and have freedom to bargain." And that is exactly what has happened. Unfortunately the process requires flexibility and rational thought from both sides. It also requires an interest and passion in the best interest of those being served...our children. Your definition of those who work the jobs and pay the taxes to financially support the teachers, while raising and supporting the children that attend schools that employ the teachers as "a bunch of paraniod and mentally unstable people" is insulting. The social apathy that is evident in your comment alludes to your lack of understanding, commitment and involvement in the issues being, or not being, negotiated and that will directly impact the future of our children, as well as the well-being of the community. Take an interest, educate yourself, take a side and let your voice be heard. Otherwise you sound just like another complainer that sits on the fence with all the other 'mentally sane' bystanders.

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