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109 Teachers Declare Impasse

With talks between the teachers’ union and District stalled, will a strike be next.

An impasse was declared today by the in its ongoing contract talks with , according to union president Dennis Jensen.

“The Deerfield Education Association today officially declared Impasse in regard to the ongoing contract negotiations with the Deerfield Public School District 109 Board of Education by notifying the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board,” Jensen said in a prepared statement.

This action came session between the two sides and in which 88 of 119 respondents indicated they hoped the teachers would call an impasse.

The teachers have been working on an expired contract since August and have been in mediation with the District since October.

Now that an impasse has been declared, both the union and the District have seven days to submit their final offer to the mediator, according to Jensen. The mediator is then required to make both positions public within another week.

After the mediator has disclosed the terms of both the teachers and the District, the teachers must wait another 14 days before striking. They may or may not strike at that time.

District 109 School Board President Ellen London is hopeful the final proposition the Board makes March 15 will help attain a deal.

"The Board is confident that our final proposal is one that focuses on the needs of students, is respectful to staff and is fiscally responsible to our community," London said.

Patch will keep you up to date as events progress.

Harry Steindler March 08, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Let's all hope for continued talks (I assume that's possible) and an agreement that honors the teacher's requests to repair working conditions related to special education.
John Russillo March 08, 2012 at 11:40 PM
There's a mediation session on the 15th, the same day the final offers are sent to the State. Board meeting on the 19th.
Susan M March 08, 2012 at 11:55 PM
I'm sorry to hear things have been difficult for you, raremind, but why would you suggest that due to your difficulties others must suffer as well? Yes, the teachers have solid salaries as noted in your link, but these salaries need to remain competitive. If District 109 doesn't remain competitive, they will not attract top-notch teachers when some of these teachers decide to retire. We still have no idea what the union is asking for and what the Board is offering. Impasse will allow the public to finally see this. Also, keep in mind that many teachers work two jobs--tutoring, waitressing, retail, etc. http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/8782436-423/1-in-5-teachers-needs-a-second-job.html Lastly, this negotiation has yet to focus on money. If you have paid attention to the teachers and the CEC study, it's about a plethora of issues--respect, classroom environment, special education, etc. I would hope that you would support teachers in creating a better environment for your children to learn. http://www.dps109.org/Strategic%20Planning%20Documents/October%2025-27%20Site%20Review-System%20Assessment%20Executive%20Summary%20Report.pdf
RonnieTheLimoDriver March 09, 2012 at 12:27 AM
The salaries for 109 are more than solid. They are amongst the top in the state. To remain competitive all that is required is cost of living increases. When somebody tells you its not about the money, its about the money.
Susan M March 09, 2012 at 12:36 AM
RonnieTheLimoDriver, we're talking about 109 not 113. Where do you get your information? I'd love to see the links that prove this. Here's what I see: http://heraldnews.suntimes.com/news/5484550-418/top-payingdistricts.html
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Well, Ronnie, that's a whole lotta conjecture with really no data to back it up. I too would like to see what you are basing that on.
Mark Stein March 09, 2012 at 01:01 AM
The law requires that both parties present their final offers to each other on the same date that they file them with the mediator and the Labor Board. Both parties will have the other's offer at the next meeting. Furthermore, these offers aren't "final" in any real sense. They will simply be a snapshot of where the parties are at that time. The law requires that the parties continue to bargain.
Mara Meyer March 09, 2012 at 01:16 AM
So the Board is willing to perpetuate the "Break the Union" bad faith bargaining? Arrogance, pompousness and other adjectives come to mind. There is no winning here. What the Board planned on awarding the staff in the Budget is a far cry from the .75% offerred the staff. With impending increases in insurance that certainly does not leave much room for satisfaction for the staff. Perhaps the entire employee (including the administration) list with full costs should be published so the community can assist all with the final decision. Management perogative I believe several Board members are invoking during this negotiation. It will be a very long time before fences are mended.
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 01:27 AM
http://www.isbe.net/research/pdfs/teacher_salary_10-11.pdf Here is an ISBE study of teacher salaries from 2010-2011. Page 14 begins the table of district salaries. You can slice this many ways but I just looked at elementary school districts. For each category below I've listed DPS109's rank out of 371 schools (some schools did not provide data): Bachelor's minimum salary: 58 Bachelor's maximum salary: 131 Masters minimum salary: 65 Masters maximum salary: 55 So while you can say 109 is certainly in the top 20% in some categories, they are far from THE top. So, you can form your own opinions from that but at least it is hard data and not simply conjecture.
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 01:31 AM
And sorry, that does include pension pickup I believe.
KH March 09, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Nonny, I'm confused why spring break would be an issue regarding a potential strike. Could you explain more?
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 01:35 AM
So you are correct, Ronnie. It is about the money. A Deerfield teacher can go to 50+ other districts and get a higher salary. Some may interpret that to mean that 109's salaries are NOT competitive.
Nonny March 09, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Then absolutely they should leave 109 and go to those 50+ other districts that are better than ours. I know many of teachers who would be thrilled to leave where they are and come to 109. If these teachers are so miserable, they should just go somewhere else.
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 01:57 AM
In terms of "North Shore" districts I pulled out 27 districts that looked to me to be the North Shore. Admittedly I went by name alone and may have missed a couple, but here are the ranks (out of 27): Bachelor's minimum salary: 21 Bachelor's maximum salary: 19 Masters minimum salary: 22 Masters maximum salary: 15 So, bottom half in all cases. Now THAT'S the stuff the district doesn't want you to see because THAT is clearly not competitive.
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Again, just presenting data here. Ronnie made the claim that 109 is competitive and I am doing the research.
Tig March 09, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Spoken like a district 109 administrator. Which one are you? This is the message the administrators are delivering to the staff members in their buildings.
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Look for someone who likes Shakespeare and makes book-burning references.
Eddie Jacobs March 09, 2012 at 02:34 AM
PLEASE keep in mid a couple of things. The salary information that is being discussed does NOT include total compensation including the benefits side of the equation. Also, the salaries from other districts includes information from districts that have already negotiated new contracts so that creates a timing difference. Therefore, when 109 concludes this set of negotiations the rankings will be more in line with the other districts. Also, this impasse could very well be a good thing for both sides. It forces the issues and proposals into the open and establishes the neccessity to come to some type of agreement. The special ed, evaluations, and other issues do truly also encompass total compensation and mutual respect problems that unfortunately may linger on after an agreement is reached. Please continue to respect both sides and work toward repairing the relationship for the sake of our children.
RonnieTheLimoDriver March 09, 2012 at 03:14 AM
I got my data the same place everybody else did, the Sun Times Article. The only way to compare apples to apples is to equalize for years of experience, which obviously drives teacher salaries. When I do that 109 is #15 in the whole state for elementary school teachers.
RonnieTheLimoDriver March 09, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Min and Max are not nearly as valuable as average numbers. See above where I show Deerfield is #15 in the state based on average number of years experience.
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Not the only way to look at it, but certainly one way. Pay scales (max-min) is another. So is average salary, of which 109 is 45th according to the ST article.
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Every district's pay scale is different. Average years doesn't take into account degree levels or hours of classwork. But to your point the state data does have a column labeled "Masters 10th year". For a masters degree with 10 years of experience, 109 ranks 15 out of 27 in the North Shore, so not much different from my earlier analysis.
DAD March 09, 2012 at 03:35 AM
"they should leave 109 and go to those 50+ other districts that are better than ours" Nonny, For other professions, your statement makes perfect sense. However, most school districts give credit for much less than half of a new teacher's prior experience (and usually discount post-grad hours too). For example, a 15-year teacher hired by another district would likely be given credit for around 5 years of her experience and would lose a chunk of her post grad hours . Take a look at any district's pay scale to see how significant a cut this can be.
Harry Steindler March 09, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Good information on salaries John R. Also good point from Ed Jacobs that the new contract should put our teachers in line with competing districts. And agreed, these negotiations are about much more than money.
John Russillo March 09, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I don't know how you can assume that 109 will be more in line with other districts since we know neither what 109's raise package will be nor what other districts have negotiated. I prefer to look at the data in hand.
raremind March 09, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Sorry it took so long to reply. the increase was ridiculous as can be the number are from the school board site : http://www.dps109.org/BOE/Pages/CommunityForum.aspx The Board made a reasonable salary and benefits proposal three months ago; the Union has not responded. The Union’s last proposal sought: * A salary increase of 19% over 3 years <-Anyone really think this is a "cost of living increase" * No changes in a Board-paid retirement plan that can cost the District more than $100,000 for each retiring teacher <- How many of you have this good of a benefit at retirement? * No change in a health insurance plan that provides for a $200 deductible and copays that are among the lowest on the North Shore <-What are your health insurance benefits? I don't even have any and I work nearly 70 hours a week. Just enough hours to keep me part time. I am really sorry but there is no way I would ever justify something this irresponsible. These are our taxes and this is extortion using our children as pawns.
Corey Lynn March 09, 2012 at 02:43 PM
You've quoted the opening position of the DEA in a negotiation. If the DEA starts at 3% a year they have to negotiate down so why would they start so low. The only reason to believe the Board put together a reasonable offer is because they told us so. Now that we have an impasse we get to see if it's reasonable.
Smite March 09, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Teachers aren't exactly on vacation when they strike.
Susan March 10, 2012 at 01:41 AM
The teachers website: http://deerfield109teachers.wordpress.com/  Pass this along so both sides can be heard.
M. R. March 10, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Here is the breakdown of all salaries in dps 109. Notice the column headed "position" and you can tell the person's job. This is from the district website and is the most current (it is last year). http://www.dps109.org/humanresources/Contracts%20and%20Agreements/PUblic%20Act%2096-0434%20listing%20all%20Staff%20Salary%20and%20Benefit%20Report%202010.11.pdf

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