Latest Teacher Talks Fail To Produce Agreement

Strike by Lake Forest High School teachers could start Wednesday if no agreement is reached.

No agreement was reached during two hours of contract negotiations tonight between the and the .

With both sides unable to agree on a date for another negotiation session with a federal mediator, the prospect of a strike at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday is getting closer to reality.

The union is willing to meet with the Board Tuesday, according to spokesperson Chuck Gress. The District has offered to continue negotiations Monday, according to Board President Sharon Golan.

“We met and we did not reach an agreement,” Golan said. “We have offered to meet Monday and we are waiting to hear back.”

Gress claims the Board rejected the offer to continue negotiations Tuesday, “The LFEA offered to meet with the Board on Tuesday at any time after the close of the school day,” he said. “The Board refused.”

, both sides were required to make their . According to Gress, there was no movement by the Board from that position tonight.

“The LFEA is sorry to report that the District 115 Board of Education did not make any new offers during two hours of mediated negotiations this evening,” Gress said. “However, the teachers remain hopeful that a fair and equitable contract can be reached.”

Golan has previously indicated the Board has a plan in the event of a strike but has yet to make any details public. That could change soon. “I believe we will start to get some information out tomorrow,” she said. She suggested the best place to look will be the school’s website.

The teachers have also started a website to provide information to the public.

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David Greenberg September 09, 2012 at 02:35 AM
"While teachers in our district get paid well, they don't have the earning potential that other professions have." I'm ROTFLMAO with this one. Many of these teachers on the North Shore are paid well over $100K - that's pretty good earning potential. Principals $200K. Other Administrators $250K+. The social compact used to be "Lower earning potential, so we fund a pension for you to take care of you in your old age." Flash forward to the Present: $100K+ salary, 100% benefits, Pension.... ummm, what's wrong with this picture? As far as I'm concerned, as the teacher's salary goes up, the taxpayer's contribution to benefits and pensions should approach zero. As they reach $100K, they get nothing from us - let them save their own money.
marco sangria September 09, 2012 at 02:42 AM
lth, your dog in the hunt is most likely is on the dole like you.
Me September 09, 2012 at 03:03 AM
@LTH - As a member of the class of 2010, unless you are a property tax payer, you don't have a dog in the hunt. However, once you start paying property taxes, you will wake up and see the madness of the union's greed.
LTH September 09, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Marco, I'm sorry you feel that way. However, I am currently a college student who is far from being "on the dole". I am, however, a resident of the Lake Bluff/Lake Forest community who would like to see the way we treat our public servants rise to the level at which they serve us.
marco sangria September 09, 2012 at 04:46 AM
lth, dont feel sorry for me. i am happy to pay my fair share. The waste and the excess disappoint me. My guess is you pay little to none of the federal, state or real estate taxes. You have no skin in the game. You can treat the public servants well by paying your fair share of the taxes on every level.
LTH September 09, 2012 at 04:53 AM
@David Greenburg - I would hope that it was clear from my saying I graduated in 2010 that I am over 18 years old. And, not that it is your business, but I have paid taxes for several years now. But it doesn'tmatter, because here's a little something I picked up in my junior year US History AP class: it used to be that only white men who owned land had the right to vote. That's not true anymore. And the assumption that is made about property taxes being the gateway to having the right to take part in the democratic exercise is about condescending as it gets. I welcome peaceful debate. I do not respect, nor value the opinions of, individuals whose only method of political discourse is insults and the assertions that the other sides very right to speak does not exist. It's called the 26th Amendment to the Constitution. Learn it, love it, respect it.
LTH September 09, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Marco, I mean no disrespect when I say that I do not feel sorry for you in anyway. Rather, I am sorry that you feel that I am not truthful when I say that I am not "on the dole".
AGF September 09, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Just to be clear and factual: In the state of Illinois, Teacher Tenure has changed greatly, it's more of an rating system, the skill of the teacher holds a higher emphasizes over seniority, the growth of the student is measured in a teacher evaluation. Look it up and get the facts right about tenure. Three of my children attended LFHS, we support the teachers!
I.M. Weasel September 09, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Maybe one of those speakers in the video posted on the teacher's website could explain something. They claim to be passionate about educating children yet they are holding those very children hostage in an attempt to wring the very last dollar out of the taxpayer. There seems to be not just a disconnect, but a chasm between the two positions. I have seen many comments claiming that the offer on the table is so stingy that it will cause a locust horde like exodus of teachers. We are told that experienced teachers are in such high demand and are so sought after that any of them could land jobs within weeks if not days. However, the teachers prefer to strike rather than to exercise their rights to move on to those greener pastures. Lake Forest ranks 18th and 20th out of 894 in the state for starting salaries. This is clear evidence that there are not many pastures that are actually greener. The Board has made a very generous off. Please dispense with the theatrics. Either take the offer or leave.
marco sangria September 09, 2012 at 01:10 PM
lth and iaf please understand we all support quality education but at what price? Spend spend spend is not the answer. Its nice that you are so generous and thoughtful with your money as well as others. I have a hunch that your feelings would approve the current situation with our federal defcit.
LTH September 09, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Marco, "the current situation with our national debt" has almost nothing to do with the current debate. I will say however that this last comment of yours that I will respond to. Teachers are not "hogs" and in today's world I fond it in extremely bad taste to be making any reference, regardless of it being simply an ill advised metaphor, to their slaughter. Read the news, we can't afford this kind of talk anymore.
Me September 09, 2012 at 03:10 PM
@lth- in your attempt to sound wise beyond your years, you actually come off sounding foolish and naive.
LTH September 09, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Honestly Me, coming from you that feels like the highest praise I could get.
I.M. Weasel September 09, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Sorry LTH, gotta agree with ME on this one. You do look rather like a kid who is dressed up in his fathers clothes.
Lynette Paulson September 09, 2012 at 04:41 PM
@LTH how can we respect the constitution if our own president Barack Hussein Obama doesn't even respect it. Some role model and leader he is.
LTH September 09, 2012 at 05:23 PM
@Ms. Paulson- Well, first off, I disagree with you over the level of respect the President has shown the Constitution. But regardless, you can respect the Consitution by the very fact that you should. And honestly, the level at which you believe the President respects the US Constitution should have no influence over your acceptance of my constitutional right to vote.
James Rittner September 09, 2012 at 06:04 PM
The Patchies quickly turn any contrary opinion into an attack on the person giving it. This is not a forum for discussion, it's a place where a small group of angry people gather to vent over their issue du jour. This month it's the teacher contract. Next month it will be something else. My recommendation to everyone here who is serious in their support of the teachers and of fair negotiations, to show up at the Board meeting on Tuesday and say so...and avoid The Patch like the plague. You won't change any minds here...you just offer yourself up as yet another target for anonymous blog bashing.
David Greenberg September 09, 2012 at 06:40 PM
@LTH - just because you graduated in 2010 doesn't automatically mean that you're over 18 yrs old. You could have skipped a grade, you could have been 16 when you graduated and are only now just turning 18. The 26th Amendment notwithstanding, I don't have any problem with any part of the Constitution. So if you've over 18, and you want to vote on something - by all means, have at it. But give it some time-watch your property taxes go up and up and up - and look at where the money is going. At least here in HP, it's primarily to the two school districts. And then look at how the money is spent. Look at the gold-plated benefits packages given to teachers who usually work 10 mos out of the year, and compare to those in the private sector. Look at the costs of the pensions when the administrators play games and bump up the salaries of the teachers so they make more in retirement than they did as a teacher. Look at the costs of the health/dental benefits and compare with the private sector. Look at how the schools are maintained and how high salaries impact the amount given toward maintenance and future replacement needs. Look at the super high salaries paid to Administrators and the extra benefits they get. Then look at how all this negatively impacts YOUR retirement, and maybe, just maybe you're start to get really irritated about your tax bills. But if you're only 18 you likely haven't experienced it yet. But try to look at it from the perspective of others.
David Greenberg September 09, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Certainly the current situation with the national debt has an impact on our local spending. Credit ratings for the Country filter down and impact borrowing costs for other units of Government. The deplorable credit status of the once great state of Illinois has an impact on whether entities wish to invest in our state, and that has an impact on the tax base for the local units of government. And as our individual Federal tax burden goes up, that leaves less money on the table for the State and local government units - or at least it should, as things go, they try to grab as much as they possibly can, which leaves the common citizen with even less in their pocket.
Kathie September 09, 2012 at 09:18 PM
@James. Here's the thing that you fail to take into account. Most parents with kids in the system right now are fearful of retaliation against our kids if we speak openly against the union. Most of us really like most of our teachers, but we know so well what damage a union-protected teacher bent on revenge can do to a kid's life. (Been there... done that.) I suspect the same is true of teachers who might not be fully on board for where their union is leading them. If the union is so confident that what it is doing is in the best interests of the teachers, then why do they force an open strike vote and then bully the handful who are forced to stand up and identify themselves as opposed to a strike? I know these comments won't change any minds. But, just want to warn you that relative silence from the community does not mean that parents here are in agreement with the union.
I.M. Weasel September 09, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Ooh, Patchie, I think I like that label.
TakeAction September 10, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Whatever your opinion, the right way to have it heard by people who can impact the situation is to attend the BOE meeting on Sept. 11 at 7:00 pm.
Walter White September 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Don't worry about it, LTH. Greenberg is a right wing troll from Highland Park who loves to stick his nose in other people's business. You will encounter many like him in life. Stay strong to your beliefs. HP will be striking very soon and he will do little more than post his nonsense on the Patch 100 times a day.
Concerned parent September 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM
I can tell you why since I am in the middle of that issue right now for my two students at the school. The school, through the department heads, refuses to grant credit for any outside credit for most students, even for online classes given through accredited schools. They have twisted the school board policy 6:310 to give them this power. They say they get to approve which students take the classes not just the courses themselves. Unless you are homebound or have other such disabilities they won't grant credit for outside courses. This effectively eliminates this learning option for most students at the school and eliminates the opportunity to take courses in the summer. I can imagine that this very restrictive policy has a big financial cost to the school and I suspect that the teachers union is behind this effort to keep students in their classrooms. We don't really need as many teachers when highly qualified teachers are available online to guide students through online curriculum for a fraction of the cost. Once the strike issue is solved I want to address the school board on this issue and would love support from the community. If anyone would like to give me feedback on this issue or join me in this effort please email me personally at online.courses.lfhs@gmail.com
Me September 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Attendance at the Board meeting will not be truly representative of the opinion of taxpayers. The problem is that all speakers must identify themselves by name and address. If you have a child in the school system, you will be hesitant to appear because you fear that teachers will see revenge on your children. That is why many people choose to post under pseudonyms on blogs.
LTH September 10, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Though it also possible that the same could be true, at least for the parents, in the opposite case. For that reason, the use of silence as a sign of support is invalid.
Me September 10, 2012 at 06:44 PM
@little lth - not the same, not even close. Nonetheless, many concerned taxpayers have already voiced our concern with the Board. All members of the Board are fully aware that their personal reputations are at stake if they give in to the union thugs who are holding our children hostage.
SportsMan September 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Notice what the IHSA said to Chicago Schools regarding athletic contests during a strike. Tell your BOE to work to settle this thing
David Greenberg September 11, 2012 at 04:57 AM
@Walter: I am not a troll. See the definition here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29 From that link: "A troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion" I do not post off-topic messages, my comments are not extraneous, and although you may consider some of them inflammatory, many (including myself) do not. I'm not attempting to provoke an emotional response or to disrupt the conversation. Again, if what I say bothers you - that's unfortunate, but ultimately it's your problem. As for your contention that I "love to stick [my] nose in other people's business" - that's not true either. I comment when I believe that what I have to say is relevant to the discussion at-hand. If it happens to be outside of the immediate community in which I reside, it's because what's going on in the other communities MAY tend to have an affect on my community.
David Greenberg September 11, 2012 at 05:05 AM
So identify yourself as an "ANONYMOUS Speaker", and give your address as "Lake Forest School District, IL", wear a mask if you wish too. To the best of my knowledge, there's no law requiring that you give your name/address when you stand up to speak. They can ask for it, but over the years I've heard many people in many forums give their name and simply state their address as the town itself. The fear of providing information that the teachers/union may use against one is but one reason to remain anonymous. Another is that the meetings may be videotaped, and you may not wish to provide your name/address to the countless numbers of viewers watching the meetings. Another is that the right to anonymous speech is long cherished and protected in this Country, and has been upheld by the US Sup. Ct. This dates from the very founding of our country when the Federalist Papers were written under the pseudonym "Publis". See these links: https://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity http://www.cfif.org/htdocs/legal_issues/legal_updates/us_supreme_court/anonymous_speech.htm


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