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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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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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