UPDATED: LEAD 300 Declares Strike

LEAD 300 and District 300 could not reach an agreement Monday, strike set for Tuesday.

UPDATED 5:20 P.M., DEC. 3:  LEAD 300 announces plan to strike after union and District 300 officials can't agree on terms of a new contract. Union members will be on strike Tuesday morning. There will be no classes.

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UPDATED AT NOON,  DEC. 3: “We are currently meeting with the board, we’ve explained our position,” LEAD 300 spokesman Mike Williamson said. “We are still in the thick of things.”

District 300 officials and the union met at 8 a.m. and the union explained what its members need in order to ratify a contract, he said.

“We are at least still talking,” Williamson said.

The two parties took a break to give the district some time to rework its proposal and will reconvene at 12:30 p.m.


LEAD 300 members resoundingly rejected District 300 school board’s final teacher contract offer Sunday as both sides head into another negotiation session Monday, each hoping to ward off a strike that could start early this week.

Union spokesman Michael Williamson said the LEAD 300 bargaining team will meet with school board officials at 8 a.m. Monday to continue negotiation talks. However, the membership is saying they are not going to accept what the board is offering and will ask the board to make more movement on the issues.

The union has not set a strike date, he said. However, the union could go on strike Tuesday.

Specifically, the outstanding issues are compensation and class size. District 300’s final offer included cap sizes for elementary schools but did not provide a cap for middle and high schools.

“The board knows it needs to make (some) movement,” Williamson said.  “We’ve come a long way and we’ve compromised, but they will have to do better.”

“We are hoping they will come with something better,” he said. “We are prepared to go out if they can’t.”

LEAD 300’s bargaining team is prepared to hammer out an agreement into the night if it sees some movement on the district’s side, Williamson said.

School board member and spokesman Joe Stevens said the parties have been making progress.

“I am very hopeful they are not going on strike,” he said Sunday night. He said he had not heard about the union’s meeting and was expecting an update at Monday’s 8 a.m. meeting.

Meanwhile, the district does have a strike action plan for its 20,856 students if there is no resolution to the issues.

The district has set up three emergency attendance centers that would be available as emergency daycare for students in kindergarten through sixth grade if a strike does occur, according to the district’s website.

The centers will be set up at Carpentersville Middle School, Dundee Middle School and Hampshire Middle School. Daycare would be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

About 600 to 700 children have been registered for the daycare services, Stevens said.

Bill Seedorf December 03, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Did anyone think for a moment the greedy teachers would settle without taking everything they can from the taxpayers? There is no one lower than a greedy teacher who cares about their bank account more than the students. The teachers in D300 proved this last time and now they are doing it again.
E. K. December 03, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Did you actually say "greedy teachers"? That's mind boggling.
Melina E. December 03, 2012 at 05:58 PM
The starting pay is fair, it's the benefits and the lack of cost of living raises that aren't. Add to that, the class sizes. My daughter is in a class that has 31 kids in it. One teacher, 31 kids? Waaaaay too hard to manage. I hope they come to some resolution...my little girl won't understand why she can't go to school anymore...:/
D.R. December 03, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Most of us work hard to try to earn a promotion, which will give us a pay increase. While teachers may get incentives for certifications and can earn extra money by coaching, they generally have no way to increase their income on their own merits, such as promotions, that the rest of us enjoy. I don't consider teachers greedy just like I don't consider someone who gets promoted greedy. We are all trying to earn our maximum wage. Nothing wrong with that. To make such a judgemental statement, I'm sure Bill must be someone who declines pay increases himself and donates every last extra dollar he has to charity, otherwise he would be a hypocrite. Or he's a troll.
VioletsAreBlue23 December 03, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Well said, D.R.
D.D. December 03, 2012 at 08:03 PM
DD When i was in public school, a long time ago, class room size of 40 or more was not unusual. Most of the children today have little or no parental control, teachers are held to standards that do not allow adequate discipline and have a tough row to hoe. So I would assume class size is important. Some senior teachers are making close to 100k a year salary should not be an issue.
larry mccullagh December 04, 2012 at 12:35 AM
the union leaders pulling the strings on the puppet teachers as they have been doing throughout the state so they can keep financing the corrupt politicians .the school children are the pawns everytime its not about smaller class sizes its about robbing the tax payers for more money .
Jill S December 04, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Unbelievable what the Teacher's Union is asking for!! Pure greed on their part!The district has delivered a very FAIR offer and yet the union turns their nose up at it. I know a lot of qualified,non working teachers who would LOVE to have these teaching positions, so those who don't like the offer should hit the road!
Dave Bockman December 04, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Get rid of the Unions
G.G. December 04, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Do teachers consider themselves professionals or labor? They are acting collectively like a bunch of spoiled brats. DD said: "While teachers may get incentives for certifications and can earn extra money by coaching, they generally have no way to increase their income on their own merits, such as promotions, that the rest of us enjoy. I don't consider teachers greedy just like I don't consider someone who gets promoted greedy. We are all trying to earn our maximum wage. Nothing wrong with that." Why should a teacher get more salary because of a certification or coaching? What if they suck as a teacher? The easiest way to allow merit increases determined by the principal (their boss) is to get rid of all teacher unions. Unions should be illegal where public money is involved (teachers, police, fire etc.) These teachers work for the taxpayers, not the students or the district. We need to eliminate pensions and have teachers save for their own retirement.
Matt Reszke December 04, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Where is WGN at, anyone know?
Sereph December 04, 2012 at 05:15 AM
While you can disagree with some methods of.....delivery... you can't deny the motive behind it. Having even just a month off of work and making wages comparable to people who don't enjoy that luxury seems an injustice. Even disregarding that, tenure is insane. How something so ridiculous could possibly become a norm is troubling. What percentage of other workers have the kind of job security tenure offers? Being a student who has recently graduated college, now working in a school (in a position that it is impossible to get tenure in), it's clear as day that there are too many ungrateful teachers who slack at their jobs because they can. There are plenty of passionate, young teachers up to their necks in student loans who could use the jobs. Am I saying that younger teachers are better than older ones? No. But they sure have potential to outperform plenty of tenured sloths who lack the drive to motivate and work with students.
Tom A December 04, 2012 at 09:10 AM
These teachers get an automatic 2% raise every year until they mxed out for their education level. So to say that the teachers don't get a raise is not correct. The 3-2-3 raise that the school is offering is in addition to the 2% yearly step raise which gives a 5% 4% 5% raise over the next 3 years provided the teacher is not maxed out.
Tom A December 04, 2012 at 09:21 AM
By what I understand, if the school agreed to LEADs requiements for classroom sizes, they LEAD would agree to the schools compensation offer. The school stated that they agreed to LEADs terms for classroom size. And LEAD responded by wanting more compensation and striking. Am I missing something? This appears to be a bait and switch. It appears that LEAD wanted to strike no matter what the offer was. I hope this strike is worth it LEAD. Your hurting a lot of people by doing this. P.S. please let me know if my facts are in error.
G.G. December 04, 2012 at 02:23 PM
If it's illegal to not send your kids to school.... How can it be legal for teachers to strike???? Just asking.
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Unions have Bankrupt this country..These teachers and unions always say they care about kids...sureeeeee. I have 2 kids at DMS and I cannot fathom during these economic times and the holiday season fast approaching, that they would do this. They get 4 months total off a year?! And all the benefits in the world...yet they don't care that we as parents have to scramble and and spend more now to care for our kids when they should be in school. It's a disgrace and they should all be replaced. Here's a questions that a union official can answer...Your teachers grade our kids....Who grades your teachers who teach our kids?? It's pathetic what unions are doing to this country while there's millions of people out of work and can't feed their kids and are losing their houses. We as parents should speak up and start a grass root movement.
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Agreed Bill...It's a disgrace. There are plenty of real good teachers who went into teaching to help others. And then there's the teachers who just show up for a check. I sure hope what Mayor Rahm did in Chicago schools happens here that grades teachers for pay because unions for too long have been protecting and hiding all the bad teachers while saying " We care about the Kids"
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Yes, GREEDY. Working 8 moths total out of the year, making great pay, having all the benefits we all would only dream of and no one is grading the teachers to weed out the bad ones who only see it as a job and show up for a check
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Melina, get real. Your so protected out here in the burbs. I grew up in Chicago and graduated from Lane Tech high school and continued on to DePaul for my Bachelors...Our class sizes were never under 30 kids. These teachers have it cake and couldn't survive in a real city school
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Agreed DD as you can read my earlier replies
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Yes Jill...Close them all like Hostess did and re-hire teachers who would LOVE the chance to get that pay and benefits
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Point proven!!
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Agreed Bill...I hope they fire all of them, close the schools down for a month and re-hire teachers who would love and appreciate their great salary, benefits and the love of teaching a child. Where's Mayor Rahm Emmanuel when we need him out here? Make the teachers get graded the same way they grade our children.
Steve December 04, 2012 at 05:30 PM
D.R. must be a union scumbag or teacher...Tough guy on the internet calling Bill a troll. Call me that and meet me anywhere D.R> Hide under the disguise of the web
Barb Dee December 04, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I am a d300 parent. I will join your grass roots movement, Steve.
Outside Looking in December 04, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Union members = membership dollars Membership dollars = campaign contributions Campaign contributions = purchased politicians Purchased politician = pay to play Pay to play = unions Unions = union members..... And the cycle continues Accountability is nowhere in the equation
cynthia December 04, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Go to McHenry Couty Blog to read the numbers for D-300 and make sure to read the comments. I say fire them all, bust the Unions and bring in the charter schools.


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