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D219 And Teachers' Union Enter Mediation

Both the teachers' union and the high school district, which includes Niles West and Niles North, said they are in talks with a federal mediator over the teachers' contract.

Teachers and the board of education at Niles Township High School District 219 have entered into mediation over the teachers' contract, which expires Aug. 20. 

Typically during contract negotiations, teachers seek greater increases in salary and benefits and better working conditions, while school boards try to hold down costs.

Patch reported earlier that District 219 teachers , which is higher than the state average, but not far off from some neighboring districts.

When property tax bills came in the mail about two weeks ago and some homeowners in District 219 found their bills had gone up by as much as 13 percent, the

The following statement was issued by the District 219 board of education and the teachers' union: 

The Niles Township High School District 219 Board of Education and the Niles Township Federation of Teachers (NTFT) have mutually agreed to engage the services of a federal mediator to help both sides come to agreement on a new contract. The mediator’s first session with the negotiating teams was July 13. The current contract expires on August 20. 

“We are very pleased with the way both parties are working together, and hope we will continue to make progress,” said D219 Board President Bob Silverman. 

The board and union agreed to engage a mediator through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which will provide the mediation service at no cost to the district or union. 

Since formal negotiations started in March, the negotiating teams for the NTFT and D219 Board have made progress on a wide variety of issues. Unresolved issues include: teaching and learning (areas such as school day and teacher evaluation); salaries; benefits; pensions; and extra-curricular pay. 

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Earl Weiss July 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Ngotiations started in March. If there is no contract by August 1, 2012 due what President Reagan did with the air traffic controllers, Fire them all and put out the help wanted sign. They should not be allowed to strike and hold students hostage.
h m July 17, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Earl, I would agree with your statement - Besides firing the teachers also fire the administrators
n.f. July 17, 2012 at 02:09 PM
I agree with both Mr. Weiss and h.m. Also, in my opinion, it would be a good idea for the Skokie Village officials to declare a financial emergency (as the home foreclosure rate in Skokie is approx. 25%) and suspend all the contracts with teachers and administrators. Taxpayers do not have contracts but their employees do (administrators and teachers; a strange situation). If there are any attorneys who are reading these posts and they can offer advice on how to reign in the out-of-control spending of District 219, this advice will be appreciated.
CK July 17, 2012 at 02:15 PM
We get big tax bills and these so called educators get pay increases. Their union was all for Obama. Raise the money from rich home owners in Obama voting Skokie and have a school district income tax for every Obama voter making over $10,000 a year. They all want fairness and change. Tax the rich Obama voters to pay for their own kids education and swimming pools. And raise taxes on Obama supporter teacher owned properties and so we get some of our money back. After all childless couples and singles have to pay for kids they don't have. Lower administrator and teacher salaries since they were all so much for Obama and his phony fairness. Its time to be fair to the fair educators with their sociology nonsense.
n.f. July 17, 2012 at 02:22 PM
One more comment. According to an article in the Skokie Patch: "The Niles Township High School District 219 school board approved a tentative $156 million budget for the next school year. That marks a 7.31 increase in spending over the 2011-2012 budget, with much of the increase due to the cost of the new aquatic center at Niles North High School." I think this speaks for itself. The Dist 219 Board and administrators are really quite clueless and disrespectful of the economic situation of the community that is supporting them.
h m July 17, 2012 at 07:38 PM
I do not think the Board really cares about the taxpayers. I think it is all about the schools getting as much money from the tax payers as long they can. People of District 69 & 219 we need to ban together and replace the Board members (vote) and pressure the Board to either remove the current administrators or reign in their salaries.
Earl Weiss July 17, 2012 at 07:50 PM
OOOPs "do" not "due" Can't seem to edit this stuff once it's posted.
Katie Gudgel July 17, 2012 at 11:10 PM
That also means making sure that there is a "real" election with options. I know that one issue is getting people to actually run for these offices.
grandpa July 17, 2012 at 11:48 PM
It is time that the unions realize that they are killing the goose that has laid the golden eggs. Neither the teachers nor the administrators nor the school boards are responsive to those who actually pay the freight. The old song; "...but it's for the children." no longer works. You have an angry electorate out here, and rather than address the taxpayers concerns, the school board calls in armed security. Something needs to change, and soon.
Carol July 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM
According to the supplement which ran in the Tribune a few weeks back, with tax information on all the state's school districts, the District 219 budget has increased more than 100% in the past 10 years. Most districts were below 50% in overall increases. Normally, I would be siding with the teachers and advocating education spending, but in this case, expenses are out of control and, as painful as it may be, cuts must be made. Many local residents have gone for several years now without pay increases while others have taken pay cuts or lost their jobs entirely. Teachers need to understand this.
Skokie Mike July 18, 2012 at 07:03 PM
This is where you money is going people - D219 is one giant fraud! http://skokie.patch.com/articles/during-budget-crisis-former-administrators-make-thousands-as-consultants Also, did you know D219 spends $600,000+ A YEAR on taxi services? Taht is not a misprint. We need to storm their board meetings every time until they get the hell out of our school system!
Earl Weiss July 18, 2012 at 07:13 PM
District 219 sent out a brochure detailing it’s 5 year plan. Among the notable entries: Operating Fund Balance $142 Million “...which equals approximately one year of expenses.” “..we carry $163 Million in long term debt.” Any responsible fiscal manager knows unneeded debt service is money down the drain. Assuming a 3% interest rate, this is almost $5 Million the district flushes down the toilet each year. It’s not like most businesses where they need to be concerned if the income will continue. They brag about “building the fund balance” and having a larger amount of debt than many districts offset by the fund, when this should be a source of shame since it’s only smoke and mirrors when you have a debt that exceeds the fund. They note that “Last year expenditures exceeded revenue by $3.2 Million.” They could retire $1.1 Million in debt and be cash flow positive with the stroke of a pen. They also note “a stable 98% collection rate for property taxes.” This should lead to some hard questions. How can the rate be less than 100% on average? Sure, the horrific taxes imposed on property by the district leads people to pay late, but I doubt many district properties (not 2% regularly) are sold at tax scavenger sales which means eventually all taxes are paid. At over $116 Million in property tax collections per year someone should investigate this $2 Million that seems to perpetually evaporate.
ConcernedCitizen August 06, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Everyone can voice their concerns on here, but go to the meetings and listen to what goes on at them, and voice them there. You all attack teachers and administrators, but how many of you go to meetings and listen to what is said?? Go and listen to what they want to do to elective classes, and to other classes....the problem is the board!!
Earl Weiss August 06, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Been there, done that. The problem is the board. They should have put out the Help wanted sign in June if a contract wasn't reached when talks started in March. The problem is the board who cries poor and theatens to cut stuff and at one meeting a girl said "Please don't cut my cosmetology class" and my reaction is Why the heck should they have a cosmetology class. The problem is the board who carries $150 million in debt and $140 million in reserves paying unneccessary debt service. The problem is the board who paid the highest paid superintendent in the state. The problem is the board who seems to treat the Superintendent like management when they are labor. The problem is the board who says they are concerned about financing and feels the steller football performance warrants a new press box. Te problem is the board who seemingly lets repairs to the pool languish and then despite financial concerns buys more property to build a new swimming facility. The problem is the board who had an unneeded addittion built, and.....
n.f. August 06, 2012 at 10:48 PM
I agree with Earl. Going to the meetings is really a waste of time. How do we replace this Board? Elections? Legal action? I work and do not have lots of time to deal with these incompetent people. It may make more sense to hire an attorney. Any thoughts on this?

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