Dist. 86 Teacher's Union Authorizes Strike

Dist. 86 school board reacts to teachers' union's vote to strike: "It's a tactic reminiscent of Karen Lewis and the Chicago Teachers' Union," board president Dr. Richard Skoda says.

With less than 28 days left in the current teacher's contract, the Hinsdale High School Teachers Association has authorized a teachers’ strike should the union be unable to settle on a multi-year contract with the Dist. 86 school board by June 30.

The Hinsdale High School Teachers Association represents the district’s 377 teachers at Central and South High Schools, and is the teachers’ exclusive bargaining representative.

By what margin the measure passed is not known.

The announcement was made Monday afternoon by D86 board president, Dr. Richard Skoda, who called the union’s strike vote “surprisingly premature.”

“In a tactic reminiscent of Karen Lewis and the Chicago Teachers’ Union,” Skoda said in a written statement, “Naomi Shepherd, the National Education Association representative of the District 86 teachers, called for the strike vote before the end of the current school year and prior to the expiration date of the current contract between the board and its teachers.”

After five bargaining sessions, the school board agreed with the teachers’ union’s request to bring in a third-party federal mediator.

Skoda told the Doings that the teachers’ strike vote occurred the same week as the first mediation session, which was May 27.

A source told Patch that school board officials learned of the union’s strike authorization vote during preparations for Hinsdale Central’s graduation last Thursday.

The teachers’ union submitted an initial monetary proposal, requesting salary increases that would add 5.45-percent to teacher salary costs in the first year for D86 teachers earning an average of $111,000 annually, Skoda said.

The school board has publicly made its intentions known of seeking a settlement that is fair to taxpayers and teachers. On May 27, Skoda said in his written statement that the board offered salary increases and performance pay that reflect the Consumer Price Index.

The vote authorizing a strike does not necessarily mean that Hinsdale Township teachers will walk the picket line when their contract expires on June 30. State laws require that certain procedures are followed -- including a notice of intent -- before teachers can legally strike.

Naomi Shepherd, of the National Education Association, and members of the Hinsdale High School Teachers’ Association, could not immediately be reached for comment.

On Monday evening, members of the teacher's union strolled down 75th Street wearing blue HHSTA T-shirts and carrying signs stating, "Concerned about the tradition of excellence," and "Commited to our students, our community and our profession," The Doings reported.

“The issue we are trying to communicate today is not about (contract) negotiations,”  David Lapetino, president of the teachers’ association at South, told the paper. “It’s the issues that have been going on throughout the school year.”

Earlier this year. U.S. News and World Report ranked Hinsdale Central the seventh best high school in Illinois, and placed Hinsdale South at 34th.

The Washington Post also listed Hinsdale South in Darien as the “11th most challenging high school in Illinois.” Hinsdale Central similarly ranked 14th on the Washington Post list.

Skoda and fellow board members are hoping for the best in reaching “a fair and fiscally responsible agreement without a disruption” to the start of school in the fall.”

“The board is taking this HHSTA [union]  action very seriously,” Skoda said. “We are hopeful, however, that the [the teachers’ union] will continue to join us in good faith negotiations under the guidance of the federal mediator throughout the summer.”

The next meetings with the mediator are scheduled for June 10 and June 26, the Doings reported.

Tawanda Williams Perez June 03, 2014 at 10:20 AM
The $111,000 a year with a 5.5% raise for next year seem pretty good deal for that Union that might be more than $10.10 per hour strike at McDonalds Corp with Mr. Thompson. One thing sure is those 3 minority board members i read about support it. Minority board members are good because minorities of all types are a bunch of D86 schools and we need minority board members to fight majority board members aside from only rich whites from Hinsdale being on board. D86 Board members that take money from union need now to earn their keep, as JoAnn Watson councilwoman in Detroit say, "bring home the bacon". There is no money problem in Hinsdale, those rich folk can afford to pay big, they get mommy and daddy's business and inherit old money, old money often tied to the efforts of slaves when that money first made. That is called found money and Hinsdale have a plenty, plenty more than folk that work 2 jobs.
K. Hemlsey June 03, 2014 at 01:38 PM
If you're going to comment, please don't make this a Black and White thing. It has nothing to do with race. Furthermore, when the article referred to minority, they were not referring to race. Also, all board members are not "rich whites from Hinsdale". Hinsdale is not made up of only "old money" either. Likely, that old money is NOT tied to slaves. It would be helpful if when you comment, you know what you're talking about.
Patrick Scott June 03, 2014 at 11:19 AM
With a proposed increase well above the cost of living at 5.45% increase across the spectrum that's more than Obama is giving seniors on social security where we've gotten less than 2% this year and about 5% total increase in the past 5 years while my real inflation is much higher due to higher taxes(66% state increase), food (50%), utilities, gasoline (more than 100% since Obama), Toll roads (WOW!!!) etc. It's really too bad that the real issues are not being discussed with the public...certainly we have an elected board and the teachers have their representatives to negotiate...but when all is said and done, it's me the public that is left with the contract to fund. With an average salary of $110k per year for a 9+ month job that's pretty high in anyone pay scale nationwide. I know that many teachers work more than just a class room day and many are wonderful role models for the students, and at D 86 their pay/benefits reflect this trust. What really is vexing is the way the State is handling, IMHO, the teachers pension fund. If anything needs addressing it's the teachers pension fund...while this is not an issue in this local contract, the teachers really need to manage their fund instead of it being a political football. I hope their statewide union will one day support candidates that support this issue rather than the money used to keep in office candidates hawking their retirement funds. I wish both side "bon chance" with their talks, it's the kids future they're playing with. If the teachers do go on strike, I hope to see them displaying their grievance on 55th and 75th Sts, be true to the tradition of "strike actions". If they vote to strike early then settle before the fall term begins not using students as hostages particular seniors that need quality educational time to move along into their next step in life.
Abe June 04, 2014 at 08:03 AM
Does the drama ever end with this district?
Denise Stout June 07, 2014 at 12:35 PM
A Strike could bring some fresh teachers to our school district...maybe we can consider converting to a Charter School and get a better education. With contract negotiations open for change....bring them where they don't want to go! Observing these shenanigans for 30 years in Hinsdale...we finally have a responsible School Board...not like the ones who covered up the scandal with the predator Basketball Coach Mueller now serving a 32 year prison term....they knew about it...but took no action to protect the kids from this man by reporting it to the police. 40 teachers testified in his defense at his trial...again...leaving the kids vulnerable! This scandal resulted in the Principal, Dr Furgeson resigning and the Superintendent, Dr Roger Miller resigning. They knew about this predator but did nothing to protect our kids. If not for a courageous Hinsdale Police Officer on duty at the school we would still never have known. It took an outsider to reveal the depth of this depravity! This is the true story: DuPage County State's Atty. Joseph Birkett was critical Tuesday of administrators in Hinsdale High School District 86 who were alerted in 2000 to allegations of sexual misconduct between Mueller and a student, but did not contact authorities. Instead, the school officials conducted their own investigation and determined the charges were without merit. According to state law, it is a crime if school, health or social work officials do not report allegations of sexual assault of a minor. The disgraceful teachers who supported this teacher...reminds me that a School Board and the community have to be diligent in protecting our kids...and our tax dollars.


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