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.