Teachers Union Responds to Press Conference by D86 Officials

The two sides meet Tuesday to negotiate a new contract for the district's teachers.

The Hinsdale High School Teachers Association sent out the following press release as a response to Monday's press conference by Hinsdale District 86 officials. Both sides are meeting Tuesday with a federal mediator to negotiate a new contract for the district's teachers: 

Mr. Skoda and Mr. Corcoran held a press conference this morning, denying 
access to a fellow board member and members of the community. In addition to denying access to the public, Skoda and Corcoran also disregarded the rules the federal mediator laid down for mediation. The mediator asked the teachers and the board not to discuss negotiations in public. By holding this conference, Skoda and Corcoran have violated, again, the rules of mediation. 

Since they have offered such a radical proposal, Mr. Skoda and Mr. Corcoran 
have a lot of explaining to do. Their current offer eliminates the salary schedule, which all 91 high school districts in the state use. Their radical offer will drastically reduce the earnings potential of teachers, making District 86 the lowest paid district in the area for new teachers. This means the best and the brightest will not work at District 86 and will negatively impact the quality of education. Their offer will reduce the take home pay of 70% of the teachers.

The teachers’ total salary and benefits offer is less than 1% higher than last 
year. It is a fair and sustainable offer that maintains the competitive salary 
schedule and benefits package that the district currently offers while keeping salary and benefit costs well below CPI. The teachers' proposal ensures that District 86 quality of education will remain excellent.

Linda Burke July 16, 2014 at 08:08 AM
It can't be stressed enough that the present board majority (of 4-3) is anti-teacher, not fiscally conservative. If these four board members were engaged in radical cost-cutting of district activities across the board, they would command a certain grudging respect, if not agreement. But of course, that is not what's happening. No expenditure is too great in their book, as long as it has nothing to do with education and even hurts our students. Much of the excess spending is aimed at a fishing expedition and witch hunt for something, anything, to use against the previous board. This explains the hiring of overpaid administrators for the business office and expensive outside audits. Needless to say, no dirt has been discovered, nor will it ever be. It is an ongoing political and personal vendetta on the taxpayer dime. Although the harm they have inflicted on the community through their zero levy can never be fully repaired, at least they are showing their true colors now, through arrogance and over-reach. Excluding the public from a meeting of public concern, on public property? How much more blatant could they get? There is no defending this behavior except by invoking blind faith in the present board majority.
Linda Burke July 16, 2014 at 08:17 AM
As for the teachers' offered contract, of course it is and should be subject to tough negotiations. That's what collective bargaining means. However, the board's proposal would make us the extreme outlier in the Chicago area, and not in a good way. Its aim is to boot teachers out of the middle class, where they deserve to be. (Teachers don't get rich, but they should be middle class. How can they inspire our kids to seek and value education, if they personify an underclass of temporary labor?) It bears repeating that NO other Chicago-area high school district, and almost no other district of any kind, has attempted this. Folks, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. You get what you pay for. We can't be the worst paid district in Chicagoland, with a board majority that goes out of their way to insult and demean our teachers, and still offer an education that rivals the best of the best. Not only is this a moral issue, but middle class homeowners can't afford to pretend that school comparisons don't exist or don't matter. War on public education equals war on the middle class.
Ken Wilson July 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM
I agree, Dr. Skoda is a high school teacher with over 30 years of worthy, exceptional service and experience. He is clearly articulate and an intellectual who volunteers his time to serve as School Board President and cares deeply about children. It is understood in a community of over 100,000 some will attack his good intentions and disrespect the fact he is a teacher. There is a very small minority of High School Stalkers, some have been hangin out at the high school for longer than 20 years after they graduated. Yes, kind of like the old football quarterback from 1970s trying to finagle an invite to prom. I guess all this talk of War may brand the Union Education First movement (UEF) of bitter individuals as a Hate Group. Or so the word was at the public pool last weekend. We appreciate Dr. Skoda's .30 years of service as a teacher to children and his efforts to raise the bar on Illinois' public education.
h86ssa July 22, 2014 at 11:12 PM
I don’t disrespect the fact that Dr. Skoda was a teacher. I do take offense that he is completely hypocritical. Dr. Skoda's teaching salary spiked 93% in his last few years of teaching! Seriously? Isn't this retirement spiking that Dr. Skoda received the very thing he's railing against District 86 teachers about? Wow, what a hypocrite. Do as I say, not as I do. I can just imagine him skipping to the bank with his last year's salary of $187,000!!! I guess his indignation and fiscal conservatism came AFTER he retired.


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