Waukegan Teacher’s Strike News, courtesy Fred Klonsky. Thank you!!!

Fred Klonsky can also be found at his blog and website: http://preaprez.wordpress.com/author/preaprez/

Thank you friends, for supporting an amazing online protest in support of Waukegan teachers:

Waukegan, an hour north of Chicago, got hit by a storm last night.
Starting at about 7PM and lasting until past 9PM, tens of thousands of people went on Twitter to announce their support for Waukegan teachers. They are on strike for a third week.
Kenzo Shibata of the Illinois Federation of Teachers posted the results last night on Facebook.
Including a Tweet from rocker Tom Morello who comes from Lake County where Waukegan is located.screen-shot-2014-10-21-at-8-00-24-am

In Other Waukegan Strike News:

A communication from the Waukegan board president:

I have not received an email from you, the vast number of petitions have knocked many emails out of the inbox. I do apologize!

First, let me say that no one wants our students out of school. The Board is committed to reaching a fair agreement and getting our students back into the classroom. I personally do not understand the community’s hostility towards the BOE, when we are simply trying to do what is best for students, taxpayers and teachers (who just received raises in May 2014, retroactive to July 2013 when the Union threatened to strike on April 16). If the community wants to cripple our School District…

I cannot speak to what the Teachers Union is feeling at this point. As you know we have been negotiating in good faith with the Union. We were as surprised as everyone when the Union told us they were walking away from the table. Recently, we have made progress on a number of issues, including healthcare, duration of school year and employment conditions. Including conceding to full release time for the Union President at $90,000 with no teaching duties. The remaining issue is yearly salary increases. We want a fair contract, but it cannot come at the expense of all the other investments we must make to sustain educational quality in our schools.

In regards to the Board using expert negotiators to represent it in the mediation sessions, we believe this is the best course because they represent the school system without emotions. The collective bargaining process requires objectivity, which our representatives have. We never thought the Union would take this drastic measure to interrupt student’s education. Further, all expenses are paid out of the Ed. Fund. I not sure what the issue is. We requested a 2 week postponement to the strike, in order for talks to happen while students were in school, they refused!

Speaking for myself, I have been running children programs in Waukegan for 30 years. I am passionate about theses issues. It saddens me that individuals that don’t know me, can name call, defame me as uncaring, even stupid, when my life’s work has been for children. Whether on the BOE or not I will continue to what I have been called to do, work on behalf of children and my hometown.

Please know we are doing everything we can without sacrificing our school system’s future. We cannot negotiate with ourselves. We hope that dedicated residents, such as yourself, will help us bring the Teachers back to the table so we can get our students back in class.

God bless you

Anita Hanna

The vast number of petitions Anita Hanna is referring to is the Moveon petition demanding the Board come to the table.

She mentions that she doesn’t understand the community’s hostility towards her.

Perhaps she is not listening to the vast numbers who signed the petition.

Hanna is totally confused about her proposals.

The union is quoted about the proposals in an article in the News Sun.

“The Board has said that we have settled on the issue of health insurance and that’s incorrect.” (union spokesmen Kenzo) Shibata said.

A proposal that would have the Board continue to pay 100 percent for single coverage insurance has a salary increase percentage that the Union has not agreed to.

Another proposal from the District offers a bigger salary raise but would have the teachers pay a percentage into their insurance coverage. The union has also not agreed to that.

Shibata said that conflicting proposals are confusing and that’s why the negotiating teams and leaders will continue to hit the streets and go door-to-door explaining the issues to those who want to listen.

Hanna admits that the $275 per hour that the board is handing over to the lawyer who is bargaining on the board’s behalf is paid for out of the district Education Fund.

The Education Fund is where teacher salaries come from.

But Hanna doesn’t see what the issue is?


Background….In an effort to give the board time to review our latest counter proposal, we emailed them yesterday at 3:15pm in anticipation of them being prepared for today’s meeting.

Today was scheduled to begin at 9am, the district remained in caucus until 11:09am when they finally presented their counter proposal.

The union caucused at 11:21am and returned to the negotiations room at 11:40am to find the entire district team had left for lunch and was not prepared to receive the counter.

As neither the union, nor the federal mediator was not notified, it is uncertain as to the time they will return. At any rate we are ready and waiting on them.

The team finds it alarming that they are more concerned with running out for lunch, than negotiating.

The district attorney claims “simple miscommunication” we ask how many simple “miscommunications” can there be during such an important time.

Teresa ‘T’ Hansen: How rude! They should have ordered Jimmy Johns Box Lunches for everyone and worked through lunch! #Waukegannegotiationsteamhungry
Like · Reply · 4 · 28 minutes ago

Dorothy Joyce: Do they even care about the kids?. I know the teachers but does the boardreally even wonder about them?
Like · Reply · 1 · 11 minutes ago

Lin Waggener: SMH!!! They never cease to amaze me. Hang in there! #waukeganstrong
Like · Reply · 1 · 17 minutes ago

Bud Hicks: Don’t take the bait. Keep calm.
Like · Reply · 1 · 21 minutes ago

Jenny Alexander: Wow this is incredibly frustrating, I am so sorry they are behaving this way. I’m in Chicago in full solidarity
Like · Reply · 1 · 29 minutes ago

Tom Tavernier: Stay strong teachers.
Like · Reply · 2 minutes ago

Dana Gothelf-Lerner: They obviously want this dragged out.
Like · Reply · 25 minutes ago

Gabriela Bustamante: In good faith???? Waukegan slapped again.
Like · Reply ·

The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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