Dear District 86 Parents, Students, Teachers and Community Members, Earlier this evening you received an update from Dr. Law about recent events in our District 86 community. Like you, we are deeply concerned about the violent threats that were...
Dear community members,
We would first like to express our gratitude for the outward support many of you have shown. From the 1,165 who have signed the Change.org petition to the hundreds of people who have attended board meetings and emailed board members to the many, many expressions of appreciation within and around Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South since August, we thank you for it all.
Our purpose with this email is to counter the deceptions that President Richard Skoda has continued to deliver to your personal email accounts, including the latest on September 24, and that we assume will be reinforced in the mailer he said he plans to send to your homes—again with the use of District 86 funds and resources.
Despite what members of the new District 86 Board majority would have you believe, the teachers do have your children’s best interests in mind. We are keenly aware of the anxiety this situation causes students regarding upcoming athletic and other extracurricular events, and that is why we have made concessions and tried to compromise to reach an agreement that is sustainable while allowing District 86 to remain competitive. However, the board has prevented negotiations from moving forward.
Never in the history of District 86 have teacher negotiations been filled with this much strife and contentiousness.
In the midst of this, we continue to deliver to your students the award-winning curriculum that we have created; we have participated in Homecoming Week celebrations at South and will do the same at Central; we continue to coach and sponsor all of the athletics and activities that have often resulted in championships and significant achievements; and we continue to work well beyond the school day to write letters of recommendation and to help students complete college applications.
In last month’s IEA Insider, Jim Crandel, HHSTA’s Chief Negotiator during our last contract talks, writes about the importance of relationship building and the previous Board’s decision to not honor its commitment to retired teachers:
“Sure, we had our outrage, but what we needed was community members, parent organizations and the media to help our board realize that destroying teacher trust would NOT result in better schools.
Relationship building is key to the success of any organization. It’s one of the reasons your Association’s leadership has been discussing relationship building with the current Board via district administration. These talks have resulted in a compromise of sorts: a Memorandum of Agreement approved at the September 21st Board meeting that ensures Roundtable meetings between the Association and Board will continue during the negotiations process – the opposite of our current contract language. Although a step in the right direction, as we attempt together to achieve a successor agreement to our current contract, this process will be complicated by the profound breach of trust that culminated in the retiree grievance process Jim was writing about.