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Letter to the Editor: Resident Supports D46 Teachers, but Feels a Raise Now Isn't Possible

Letter to the Editor: Grayslake resident Amy Connoy writes that she supports District 46 teachers, but now is not the time to be giving raises.

As you all likely know, our D46 teachers are planning to strike this Wednesday, January 16th. Reportedly, the union members believe that we parents support them – that we want them to get raises now. Yes, raises, now. But that is not what I believe.

I am so grateful for the teachers on a daily basis. My friends whose children have attended Prairieview have nothing but good things to say about the Prairieview teachers. But even though I love the dedicated, hardworking, caring teachers, I cannot support a raise for them at this time.

We all know that these are very trying economic times. Many people have lost their homes in foreclosure. Some people are without jobs. Most of those who do have jobs aren’t getting raises. In fact, I know of some people who have taken pay-cuts in order for them and their co-workers to save jobs.

It is a fact that if teachers are given a raise, then some teachers will actually lose their jobs. Some are going to lose their jobs even if raises are not given. I hope you have heard that D46 has a deficit budget; we are short $1.2 million dollars for the expenses we have. So we will lose teachers and some staff regardless. But if a raise is given, then we will lose even more teachers. What happens after that? Larger class sizes will be one result!

After reviewing what the School Board has given the union, I think it is a very fair offer. (D46 teachers have received raises every year for as far back as at least 1985.) After looking at what other area districts are currently giving their teachers, it is clear to see that the offer given to our teachers is indeed a fair offer.

I hope you will join me in writing comments on Patch and for the Daily Herald, and writing “Letters to the Editor” to communicate that we do not support raises for our teachers for this year’s contract. I also think we need to communicate to our Board of Education that we do support their offer to the teachers and encourage them to stand strong.

You can easily find the email addresses of the BOE members by going to http://ww2.d46.org/boe.asp. Their names and email addresses are on the left column of the page. You’ll also find interesting information on that page and in links as well. Further, you can read about child care that has been arranged when the strike starts Wednesday.

I do want to make note that the BOE has improved their offer, but the teachers have not given in on any of their demands. They say they just want a contract, but they could have a contract if they would accept the fair offer that has been extended to them.

For those of you that would like to review the offer made to the teachers on 11-29-2012, you can review it at http://ww2.d46.org/boe/boeother/2013boardproposal112912.pdf.

Additional concessions have been made by the BOE since then.

I strongly support our teachers. I just can’t support raises for them at this time. Let’s show our teachers and support staff that we appreciate them by using other meaningful methods – little things can mean a lot.

Amy Connoy

Grayslake

Lennie Jarratt January 14, 2013 at 08:25 PM
For Our Children's Future to host a townhall meeting to discuss the Grayslake District 46 teachers contract. The meeting will take place even if there is no strike. When: Wednesday, Jan 16, 2009 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Where: State Bank of the Lakes 50 Commerce Drive Grayslake, IL 60030 All District 46 school board candidates have been invited.
Julie January 14, 2013 at 08:26 PM
I support our teachers and I am more than willing to pay them. Good schools equal better home values.
HelloKitty January 14, 2013 at 08:40 PM
I Disagree completely with your whole letter !
Terri January 14, 2013 at 08:45 PM
I believe there is a solution that will settle most all of this near and long term. 1.) teachers need to accept the fact that they have a role to play near term and accept a step freeze for 12/13 & 13/14 2.) the BOE & community need to accept that promises have been made relative to lane changes and that they must be honored. How else will we continue to have the most highly qualified teachers? 3.) both parties need to agree that raises going forward should be steps at CPI (not CPI-U). 4.) both parties need to agree that the time has come to minimize end-of-career raises in the medium term. 5.) the BOE needs to monetize the positive effect of retiring teachers, decreasing enrollment, school closure as it relates to RIF's.
Jose Cuervo January 14, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Amy, Bravo! Your letter expresses how so many feel but won't publicly say for fear of being labeled or bashed. Kudos to you for your bravery and saying what every neighbor, businessman, and parent that I know is saying! There are MANY, MANY who agree with you. Some may not but that's ok. Well done! I hope the union takes note.
Benjamin Dover January 14, 2013 at 09:44 PM
Annual Pay Raises for the Past 13 years: D46 Teachers - Everybody Else 99-00 9.98% - Average US Worker raise in '99 - 5.3% 00-01 6.54% - Average US Worker raise in '00 - 5.2% 01-02 5.78% - Average US Worker raise in '01 - 2.3% 02-03 5.84% - Average US Worker raise in '02 - 1.0% 03-04 5.39% - Average US Worker raise in '03 - 2.4% 04-05 6.37% - Average US Worker raise in '04 - 4.4% 05-06 5.20% - Average US Worker raise in '05 - 3.5% 06-07 5.21% - Average US Worker raise in '06 - 4.4% 07-08 5.20% - Average US Worker raise in '07 - 4.3% 08-09 3.96% - Average US Worker raise in '08 - 2.2% 09-10 3.96% - Average US Worker raise in '09 - (-1.5%) 10-11 2.75% - Average US Worker raise in '10 - 2.3% 11-12 3.96% - Average US Worker raise in '11 - 3.0% (source for Average US Worker raise - National Average Wage Index) To put that in perspective...A D46 teacher who started in 1999 at $35,000 would now be earning $69,189, not including step or lane changes. The same average US Worker starting at the same time at $35,000 would now be earning $51,196, not including any promotions. Seems teachers have been on a pretty good ride...pay raises that outpace the average American for at least the past 13 years and a pay raise every year for 30 consecutive years. While they do a good job (and in some cases an outstanding job) it is very hard to be supportive of them going on strike over money...money the taxpayers just don't have.
Joe Fox January 14, 2013 at 10:00 PM
And they still earn less than the state average. How can this be???
Pete Gardner January 14, 2013 at 10:03 PM
My goodness! I'm a little in shock at those percentages. Mr. Dover, this does put a lot into perspective. To be honest, I'm far more disappointed in this strike now than I was before. Those are very good increases. Those are exceptionally good. It was easy to understand why raises couldn't be given out with the district having a deficit. It was sad but reality and most of us have dealt with the same at our jobs. I am really sad we live in a world where people, who have received so generously year after year, will walk away from their job if they don't get more. On top of that, in doing this they affect the lives of thousands. What type of lesson is this? If you don't get what you want, even though you have been given more than most, you can pout and hurt everyone around you? Good God almighty this is downright shameful! To the Miss who wrote the letter, thank you for speaking up. This can be a place full of hard people. I tip my hat to you ma'am.
Terri January 14, 2013 at 10:03 PM
...and the average member of the community earns more than the state & national average...on an individual basis...not household or per capita.
Terri January 14, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Swanson11 Unfortunately, that is his real name. Grayslake HS class of '74.
HelloKitty January 14, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Why didn't you post how much the BOE gave to the Administration for raises !! We had money for that !!! Your way off, our teachers DO NOT make close to 52,000.00 a year !! Give me a break !!
Angela Sykora (Editor) January 14, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Patch posted this story in October, which includes a searchable database from the Illinois State Board of Education on teacher and administrator salaries. http://grayslake.patch.com/articles/how-much-do-grayslake-school-district-46-teachers-make This link from the D46 Website includes info on administrator salary compensation for FY12: http://ww2.d46.org/financials1213.asp
Jose Cuervo January 14, 2013 at 11:04 PM
HelloKitty the average salary in D46 is a little over $55k. Fact. You can look it up. The administrators in three of the last four years received 0%, 1%, 0%. Again, fact. You can look that up to. They did get raises this year and that was stupid for the BOE to do but the administrators went without for a long time. Those who didn't like it, left. Those who accepted it was part of the economy and in the best interest of the district, stayed. If only that could happen here. I do enjoy your use of the exclamation point though; best point you make.
Terri January 14, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Pete... Don't be too shocked. The figures he posted are pretty useless (comparing Grayslake to the entire country). Better data is available; it just doesn't serve his spin.
Marvin K Mooney January 15, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Take away std pay raises, median salaries, etc. GL is suffering, foreclosures exist, are increasing. If anthr levy passes, many of us will be taxed out of our homes. If the money is not there, its not there. Skip all the "they deserve it" & "13 years ago", that's a wash, the economy is in the crapper, this is the hear and now. If things were good & property taxes were where they should be & assessors would not be taxing most of us for a 350,000+ home when we could not not sell them for more than 200K (example), then I could understand. If there is money in D46, then I could understand the disagreements and if there is, then the Board is not being truthful. This is about that you can't get blood out of a turnip. Isn't the real problem THE STATE OF ILLINOIS' lacking to pay what they owe? And until they do, just like the rest of us, do with what you have, your job. No one is saying the teachers do a bad job by not getting a raise, they are saying you are doing a good job by keeping your jobs & not getting RIF'd. (Although there are some teachers out there, not just D46, that should get let go, but that is another article for another time) I for one, am not going to support this strike to sacrifice my own. Reverse it-would D46 staff sacrifice their pay to help pay our taxes if we were losing our homes-doubt that. Prove your STRIKE point when economy is good, money is there, not now! Go STRIKE down in Springfield, tell QUINN he owes you $$$-that I will support!
Pete Gardner January 15, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Terri I'm shocked. It isn't the comparison to the average US worker that shocks me; its the above avg. increases in comparison to most I know that shocks me. Granted I don't get out a whole lot but I do know that increases for large numbers of people over the past few years is nil. Maybe I am old fashioned but I was taught and I taught my children to be grateful for what they have. Its so simple and yet I don't understand how anyone can walk off a job because they don't get more when there isn't more to give and they've had a lot up until now. Shameful.
Benjamin Dover January 15, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Funny to Terri talk about spin....pot meet kettle
Lefty Ruggiero January 16, 2013 at 04:30 AM
I agree with Amy Connoy's points. Most residents stand behind teachers, but most residents cannot afford another tax increase. We purchased our home for $176K in 1998,RE taxes were $4K. Real estate taxes are $7400, that's with 2 appeals in my favor, or they would be $8300. Home value, $165K. And teachers want another increase? Along with state and county workers who demand increases, when does it end? While some people are doing well, many are struggling to keep their homes, feed and clothe their kids, happy they still have jobs. Many received no raises, and others took pay cuts to help their companies stay afloat that they may survive this economy and still have a job. The economy, if the govt is to be trusted, is recovering, though slightly. I personally know people who have lost jobs, homes, & marriages. Many people are on meds due to the enormous stress, how my heart aches for these people. And yet school districts want more or else. The high taxes are already a negative factor in the low home sales the last few years. Who in their right mind would move here to pay $180K for a house that has $8K in taxes. If Grayslake is not careful, it will turn into Round Lake Beach as more homes are foreclosed on and those that do remain will eventually realize they will have to make up the difference, or cut they're losses and walk away. Then where will Districts get their money from?
Forethe Community January 23, 2013 at 07:36 PM
350 people showed up Sunday in the freezing cold to support the teachers of their district. That’s: • 10 times the number that showed up for either of the For Our Children’s Future town halls. • 10 times the number, on average, that shows up to BOE meetings. • 5 times the number that have ever shown up for a BOE meeting (in recent history). 30 local business showed their support for the teachers by supplying food, providing parking, providing warming shelters, allowing access to their bathrooms, and donating cash to help teachers that might need it in a prolonged strike. Residual benefits went to local food banks through excess donations. That’s: • 10 times the number of local business’s that spoke at any levy hearing. • Equal to the number of attendants at any For Our Children’s Future town Hall. • Equal to or greater than the average attendance at a BOE meeting. Actions speak louder than words. I applaud the board for listening to the public. I only wish the silent majority had been more vocal at the levy hearings. It’s too late to do what the public really wanted.

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