Highland Park teachers, board still at impasse
Updated: October 11, 2012 11:33AM
With a strike date less than a week away, union and school board negotiators in North Shore School District 112 made little progress toward an agreement after more than six hours of negotiations on Wednesday.
“We each made movement, but we’re not even close to an agreement,” North Shore Education Association President Pamela Kramer said. Negotiations ended at 11:30 p.m.
The two sides will meet again at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, in a last-ditch effort to avert a strike scheduled to start on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
Kramer said both sides edged a little closer on salary and health-care costs. Retirement proposals and education reimbursement are the major sticking points for the union, she said.
“We want to get this done. We want what’s fair,” she said. “What they are proposing will devastate the quality of the teachers in our district.”
School Board President Bruce Hyman said in a statement released early Thursday that while the two sides “remain significantly apart,” the board requests the union withdraw the threat of a strike and remain at the negotiations table on Monday until an agreement is reached.
In the event of a strike, the school district and local organizations have set up safe, school-day programming to help working parents.
District 112 will operate three centers to provide supervised activities for a maximum of 500 students at Green Bay Early Childhood Center, Oak Terrace School and Northwood Junior High.
“First priority will be given to students who receive free and reduced lunch,” Rosen said.
Registration for the school district programming will be accepted no later than Thursday, Oct. 11. To register, go to http://www.nssd112.org/pages/Northshore112/Strike_Planning_Information.
At the Highland Park Park District, five camps set up specifically for strike days filled up in a matter of hours.
“We had about 75 people in line when registration began Tuesday morning. The camps were filled by mid-morning,” Director of Communications and Marketing Margaret Gienger said. The camps will accommodate 150 students.
Officials estimate the camp programming will cost the park district an estimated $2,000 a day, Gienger said. How long they will remain free of charge is yet to be determined, she added.
To get on the wait list for a camp, go to www.pdhp.org.
Free open gym and open swim will be offered at the Recreation Center, and the Centennial Ice Arena will have open skate and open gymnastics.
The Chicago Botanic Garden will offer nature days for children from kindergarten through fifth grade, with a maximum capacity of 20 students.
“We have the facilities and the teachers and we’re right across the street from the school district,” said President and CEO Sophia Siskel. “We want to be a community resource and provide a good, safe, educational place for students.”
To register, go to www.chicagobotanic.org/camp/naturedays or call (847) 835-6801.