Last night over 200 people gathered at the Administration building for a rally before the negotiation meeting took place. I was there and was immediately impressed with the community togetherness that was displayed by the simple act of standing for what was right and just. The crowd chanted “children first”, isn’t that what this is all about, the children? I hope the board and the union’s negotiating team keeps the children’s best interest in mind while negotiating the future of their education here in Orland.
While it is still unclear what progress, if any, was made last night, we can only hope that some was made.
If you were not able to be there last night, the Orland Park Patch has a great video up and the Southtown has an article about it as well. Here are some photos I snapped of the event.
I understanding that the meeting was little more than a union rally. There are about 9,000 parents in the district, and about 180 union members and 20 parents (or union sympathizers) seemed to be in attendance.
Right now it’s CRUCIAL for parents to find out what the cost impact of the contract is to see if it will result in deficits that could result in eventually cutting beneficial programs and increasing class sizes.
It would be pretty hypocritical of those who promoted the tax referedum a few years ago NOT to stand up for the chidlren and community in this by demanding facts fro the board to discover if this contract will put the chidlren at risk.
So far Ms Bragg (the Board member who’s also a member of an Illinois teachers’ union) who was curiously named by the President to represent the communities’ interests AGAINST those of the union, has steadfastly refused to let parents and taxpayers know if this contract puts their children at risk.
This contract may be sustainable and fair to the teachers, students, families and taxpayers, but if it were, why would the Board refuse to make the inforamation available to the community stakeholders as the union has to the teacher stakeholders?
I STRONGLY encourage paresnt to contact the board and ask for transparency on the contract and it’s cost summary BEFORE they vote to approve it.
IF you care about the children, contact the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you need tranparency to protect the interests of the children and taxpayers!
I agree that having open access to the terms of the contract prior to its ratification on January 9th would be ideal and fair. I do not know what we can do to make this happen or if it is even possible given the time frame. I hardly believe that the board or union would agree to terms that would possibly put our children at risk, but would still like to see what is on the table.
Thanks for your comment.
What you can do is call the district and ask them why they think they need to hide the ramifications of the contract from the community if the contract is fair and sustainable.
Were you around prior to the last tax increase referendum? People in the community thought that THEIR Board wouldn’t put the children at risk either, but the board agreed to a contract that doled out 15% raises, and the district was brought to the brink of financial crisis. Class sizes were to be raised substantially, teachers laid off and valuable programs cut.
If concerned parents knew how they’d been sold out by that Board then and new what the results of the contract would be, they could’ve put pressure on the Board to pass a sustainable and fair contract that wouldn’t put the children at risk.
Trust me, if enough parents and taxpayers demand that the board make the information available, it’ll happen. They could have the proposed contract and cost summary on their website within a day.