Wildcat Chronicle

Community speaks out at Board of Education meeting over unresolved contract negotiations

2010+graduate+Brendan+McCormack+speaks+from+the+point+of+view+of+prospective+teachers+during+the+public+participation+session+at+the+Dec.+19+board+meeting.+
2010 graduate Brendan McCormack speaks from the point of view of prospective teachers during the public participation session at the Dec. 19 board meeting.

2010 graduate Brendan McCormack speaks from the point of view of prospective teachers during the public participation session at the Dec. 19 board meeting.

Photo by Mayeli Vivaldo

Photo by Mayeli Vivaldo

2010 graduate Brendan McCormack speaks from the point of view of prospective teachers during the public participation session at the Dec. 19 board meeting.

By Mayeli Vivaldo, Editor in chief

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Due to the ongoing and unresolved contract issues between the Board of Education and the West Chicago Teachers’ Association, many attendees voiced their concerns at the board meeting on Dec. 19.

During public participation, speakers supported and appreciated the teachers, but also voiced concerns about the ongoing contract negotiations. At least 100 people attended the meeting.

“I am here tonight to support our awesome teachers. There are not enough words to thank them for all the excellent work they do. They are the heart and soul of this great school,” community member Tom Tipton said. “It’s time for the Board of Education to stop the posturing and the penny pinching and give our excellent teachers the excellent contract they deserve.”

Some speakers addressed the club suspensions caused by the contract negotiations. Teachers who have volunteered for clubs for several years stopped volunteering in September.

Junior Maria Giannoudakos spoke about the effect the negotiations and the club decision has had on WeGo Global.

“WeGo Global runs activities which contribute to a fun and progressive school environment, but in lieu of the ongoing negotiations, we have not been able to accomplish any of this,” she said. “And (as a result of) the school board’s inability to come to a consensus with the Teachers’ Association, students are being done a disservice, we are unfortunately caught in the middle.”

Giannoudakos also expressed her sympathy and support for the Teachers’ Association’s decision to end teacher volunteer participation in clubs and after-school activities.

“We’re not in this position because of the teachers, the students know the teachers would not just walk away without giving any thought to their decision,” she said. “The students understand that teachers are taking a stand because they have been treated unfairly.”

Another WeGo Global member also spoke.

“We need to finish these negotiations, for the better of the Teachers’ Association and we need to reach an agreement so that all the clubs will be ultimately seen as activities in our building,” senior Zury Rodriguez said.  

Brad Larson, president of the Teachers’ Association, made a statement during the meeting.

“They gave us a proposal that would leave people with less and less purchasing power every year and when the Board (of Education) puts that kind of proposal forward, they’re making a statement and that statement is, they don’t believe that the finances of the district are sustainable to the extent that they can provide a staff that is willing to commit to this district,” Larson said.

2010 graduate Brendan McCormack gave his views on the contract negotiations and proposals.

“As a prospective teacher, my incentives to work here and stay here are exactly as described by the people that have spoken already which is, I don’t want to. The trade-offs are just not worth it” he said.

No statement was given by the Board of Education during the meeting regarding the contract negotiations.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Community speaks out at Board of Education meeting over unresolved contract negotiations”

  1. Karen Rozanski on January 10th, 2018 4:28 am

    You can try to cut corners all you want, but when it comes to teachers salaries, you should be ashamed of yourselves for thinking that is a sound decision. It’s actually absurd!!! I know teachers that go far above & beyond because they love their careers and chose those careers because they are intelligent individuals with big hearts. Depriving them of monies rightfully earned is a travesty and all of you decision makers prohibiting them from receiving their rightful share is wrong. It is just wrong!

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Community speaks out at Board of Education meeting over unresolved contract negotiations