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District 158 Teachers Reject Latest Contract Offer, Take Vote to Strike

Board of Education questions effectiveness of Huntley Education Association’s negotiating team as union disputes the board's take on negotiations. No word on when or if strike will occur.

Updated Oct. 21, 2012:

The Huntley Education Association officials are calling the District 158's Board of Education statement that a “second tentative agreement was reached at the negotiations table is patently false and can only be construed as an intentional misstatement by the BOE,” according to a release issued by Julie McLaughlin, president of HEA.

“Realizing that the repeated failure of the BOE to address the concerns of educators was leading nowhere, the bargaining team took the BOE's most recent offer (not agreed to in any way) to the membership prior to requesting a strike authorization vote,” the release stated.  “Our goal was to ensure that all members had the opportunity to express themselves through a democratic secret ballot vote, even though no tentative agreement had been reached.”

"With nearly twice as many members voting, the result was substantially the same as the first," the release stated. "A supermajority of members recognized the inherent unfairness and inadequacies of the offer, and that it failed to meet their needs."

"Our hope is that the BOE comes to the realization that building a quality school district is in everyone’s interest," the release stated. "Fairness to current professionals is a means of building to the future.  It is the best pathway toward attracting and retaining the high quality professionals our students and community deserve,” the release stated.

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Huntley Education Association members rejected a second tentative contract agreement this week and took a vote authorizing a strike, officials said.

The District 158 Board of Education released a statement late Thursday expressing disappointment and questioning whether the Huntley Education Association’s (HEA) negotiating team’s authority.

HEA and District 158 have been negotiating a contract for 21 weeks and reached a three year contract agreement in September but the union’s membership rejected it. According to the district, only 1/3 of the membership was present to vote.

Both sides agreed to mediation in late September then met again last week with a federal mediator, according to the release.

“The HEA negotiation team presented terms they felt were required by their membership.  As a result, the HEA team and Board reached an oral agreement for a one-year contract. The mediator conveyed that the HEA team would recommend their membership ratify the oral agreement,” the release stated

Wednesday, the school board learned the HEA membership rejected the latest agreement. The board learned Thursday that the HEA took a strike authorization vote.

“The entire Board is disappointed the HEA negotiating team has twice failed to secure ratification of the agreements reached at the table,” the release stated.

The school district and HEA had released statements together about the negotiations. Last month, Julie McLaughlin, president of HEA, stated the negations were cordial and the two sides hope to have it resolved soon. She did not anticipate a strike at that time.

Friday, the HEA issued a release stating the union hoped to negotiate with the district in good faith. Neither the district nor the union indicated when or if a strike would occur.

Ed Muren October 19, 2012 at 06:53 PM
With more and more houses foreclosing, my insurance costs going way up, haven't had a raise in 2 years, my hrs. cut and taxes and cost of living going way up. It’s hard to sympathize with the teachers. I say no more pensions, move to 401Ks, they help pay more for their insurance; they can’t retire until the age of social security, why should I have to work to SS age of retirement to pay for theirs (I know they don't pay into it, but they should) or let them strike until they agree. Uses the 2 months of summer time to let them think about it, the kids will stand behind them giving up summer vacation. If they don’t, then hire new teachers. I will gladly sit on the negotiating committee.
G.G. October 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Agreed, There should be no pensions for ANY government employees at all (Except military service). Teachers are supposed to be smart. They should realize that they need to save for their own retirement like 90% of the private sector since the government(s) (Fed, state and local) are broke. As for salary increases, really???? NOBODY in the private sector is getting much of anything. I work in one of the larger high tech companies in Illinois and we're averaging 1-2% raises over the last 5 years or so. Professionals don't generally belong to unions. Are teachers professionals, or are they labor? I looked at several local teacher contracts online and they are worded like you would expect a janoitorial contract to be worded. overtime???? for essentially a part time job? Professionals (exempt salaried employees) rarely get overtime. You do what it takes to get the job done at whatever rate you individually agreed to with the employer. If you want a raise, go ask your boss like everyone else, and if you deserve one you'll get one.
Dominick October 19, 2012 at 08:56 PM
I agree that teachers SHOULD pay into SS. However, TRS(Teacher Retirement Service or something) is NOT optional. ALL teachers in the state have to pay into it. In fact District 158 pays on 10% of TRS for its teachers. That is unlike Social Security which I believe employers usually pay 50% or so. Also if you were a teacher in District 158 for approximately 10 years you would bring home around $2000 per month. Sounds pretty low for someone who has spent $100-$150,000 or more on an education. But thats not bad, someone can survive on that, unless they have student loans. But still you can at least afford to eat on that income. BUT HERE IS THE WORST.... That same teacher bringing home around $2000 per month would have to pay almost $900 per month to have some ok health insurance for there family. Guess what, some teachers are also single mothers. How is that supposed to work?? District 158 has a big budget surplus & this district is ALWAYS very eager to spend all kinds of money piloting programs & having the teachers do more work for the same pay. The district does some great things but hey lets face it, most of these teachers are poorly compensated compared to other districts in the area. Especially based on the giant budget surplus that the district will not talk about or give any specifics on. Ask D158 to give details on that.
G.G. October 19, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I'm sure you are WAY off on the salary.... 24K / yr after 10 years???? Check your "facts" P.S. Don't forget to add pension and OT to this... http://www.district158.org/weblinks/Human%20Resources/Admin%20Teacher%20Salary%20and%20Benefits%202012.pdf http://www.taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/news-releases/striking-district-158-teachers-are-already-overpaid http://www.teachersalaryinfo.com/illinois/teacher-salary-in-cons-school-district-158/
T.O. October 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Think about how many people DONT have jobs right now. This makes me sick.
Bill Seedorf October 22, 2012 at 01:08 PM
These teachers are not poorly compensated. They are paid extremely well. Check into the big lie about teachers paying into trs. You may be surprised. Also the right to strike should be eliminated. Why should the students have to suffer, because that is how the teachers feel about the students, Let your family lose their house, I want all of your money. What teachers want is your check deposited directly into their account.
Dominick October 23, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Around $2000 per month BRING HOME (net) my facts are accurate... very accurate... sadly accurate... i dont believe that the pay structure is very balanced.. i also dont feel that teachers should receive 75% of there last three years average pay once they retire... as far as the people that DONT have jobs... GO GET ONE that makes about $2000 per month NET (bring home) that shouldnt be very hard... an employee at a Sandwich Shop can make that.. or a grocery store.. that way T.O. can stop feeling sick... By the way way Joe Caputos is hiring. yay for minimum wage.
G.G. October 23, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Inaccurate... Check the links in my previous post. Those are the actual numbers from D158. Take home pay can be different for a great many reasons (witholding, garnishments etc.), and isn't relevant to what the salary of the position is. Still really good pay for what is essentially a part time job. Look up some actual contracts online, teachers in general have a pretty sweet deal when you consider the cost to them of insurance and retirement benefits.
JR November 13, 2012 at 07:53 PM
G.G.-- you keep saying it is a part time job. You might be surprised at how much work teachers take home to complete at night. Papers to grade, etc....

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