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    • Rob—according to D-115 PR, the info will be made public after the Lake Forest Education Association ratifies the contract and the D-115 Board reviews it; the BOA’s next meeting is Oct. 19.

  1. ” Compounded, the board offered you 9.7 percent. You still demand 18.8 percent. This at a time that the national unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent for an historic 43 months.”

    I am not going to dispute your numbers, but I will say that it is deceptive at this point to describe the LFEA’s proposal in terms of compound interest to get the numbers higher. The the LFEA asked for 2.5% in year one, 3.25% in year two, and 2-4% in year three. In addition, they asked for a one-time payment to account for pay freeze last time. All these numbers are perfectly in line with what other Northshore communities are paying. A two-tiered payment system is a thinly veiled way to cut teachers salaries and a recipe for disaster as good teachers will leave for greener pastures quickly after being here a few years. The whole re-opener thing would be non-starter in my book…what dufus would sign a contract that says the other party can unilaterally change the terms down the line?

    From my standpoint, and many will disagree, I want LFHS to be one of the most desirable places to teach both from a student body standpoint and a financial one…we will attract the best and keep them. It is not a matter of whether we can afford it….we can as evidenced by the huge surplus sitting in the schools funds right now. We all may disagree on what a teacher “should” make in salary, but I personally have no problem whatsoever with the current structure. It is money well spent. Needless to say, I lean towards favoring the LFEA in this one.

    So…I sure would hope that both sides can figure out how to come to deal that both sides can live with and that neither gets hung up on ideology…that will only hurt the kids.

    • I agree with you Doctor Hunt that it is not a question of “whether we can afford it” and that we shouldn’t get “hung up on ideology”. The question is: Should we give the teachers union whatever they ask for? Because that cannot go on for long.

      The historic shift that began in Wisconsin 19 months ago is a reaction to the unchecked demands of public-sector unions. A private sector union cannot ask too much or the employer goes out of business. We can afford it and LFHS will never go out of business but that does not entitle the union to carte blanche.

      According to the Tribune of September 12th, the school board offered 2.6 and 3.4 and 3.4 percent increase in each of the next three years. Respectfully Doctor, did you think that the average of about 3 percent is the board’s offer? The three rate hikes are not averaged, they are added – or more exactly they are compounded.

      The math is 1.026 * 1.034 * 1.034 = 1.0969

      According to that same source the union is demanding 5.6 and 6.5 and 6.5 percent increase in each of the next three years.

      The math is 1.056 * 1.065 * 1.056 = 1.1876

      And that 19 percent raise is in addition to “step” increases which are automatic raises that every teacher receives each year regardless of merit. Which are in addition to “lane” increases for college degree attainments of the teachers.

      Naturally the unionized teachers of Deerfield, Highland Park, Stevenson and New Trier High Schools have joined the Lake Forest picket line. They want to be able to tell their school boards that these extravagances “are perfectly in line with what other Northshore communities are paying”.

      • “The historic shift that began in Wisconsin 19 months ago is a reaction to the unchecked demands of public-sector unions.”

        I am not sure the shift is exactly historic rather kind of a sad statement that certain business interests have taken over in Wisconsin and have somehow painted public sector unions as the “bad guy.” Irrespective of the whole underfunded pension issue (which is huge), public employees should absolutely have the right to collectively bargain…if I am not mistaken, Mr. Walker’s law has hit a bit of a snag and has been declared unconsititutional/illegal albeit at a circuit court level.

        As for the the “source telling you the union is demanding 5.6, 6.5, and 6.5…I would like to see the confirmation of that because that is not what has been reported from their side. I don’t think we should necessarily give the teachers everything that they ask for either. My point was that that their published offer to the BOE was reasonable in my estimation and in-line with the other Northshore districts. The whole two-tier salary scale thing and re-openers would be non-starters in my book.

        I will solve the whole thing right here….give them 2.5,3.5. and between 2-4% for three years, can the two-tier issue and get rid of the re-openers, and in return, the LFEA drops the one-time payment thing.

      • This is an emotionally charged situation and I think we need to be careful not to get loose with the facts. Adding annual percentage increases over a period of time is a non-standard way to discuss the topic. Typically, if you are discussing varying rates of increase or growth over a period of time, you use the concept of compound annual growth rate which is similar to taking the arithmetic average but also factors in the effects of compounding. Using this metric and the increase rates discussed above, you would have a compound annual increase offered by the Board of 3.1% versus the compound annual increase requested by the union of 6.2%. There is certainly a difference here, but I agree with Dr. Hunt that saying the union’s requested increase is 19% is not the most accurate way to express the situation.

  2. Is it true the two-tier and health insurance issues have been resolved? If so, as the article expresses, the remaining issue centers around the teachers’ avarice and their desire to grab some of the surplus funds.

    Sounds like the BOE has caved in somewhat in an attempt to settle the strike. A lock-out should be considered. I hope today goes well with the substitues and everyone realizes the teachers cannot hold the students hostage and the public is determined to see this through.

    Stand Strong !!!

    • Hey GazeboNews readers—we require you to use your full name on Reader Forum comments. I realize this can be confusing, because we do allow anonymous comments on news stories, but we ask for full names on Reader Forums because they are written by our readers and bylined by our readers. We feel the writers have the right to know who is commenting on their Forum articles. We also know that it helps keep the discussions more civil.

      We’ve had some great comments on the Reader Forums by John Wanninger and Donald Russ—we want to post them but we need your names!

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