Do Huntley Teachers Want More under their Current Agreement?

Teachers picketing in front of the Huntley High School.

In September 2008, the Huntley school district and the Huntley teachers union (the “HEA” for Huntley Education Association) ended a strike and reached an agreement.

It was for three years.

All remaining issues that were left for joint committees of the district and union…salary and retirement benefits, for instance.

They have yet to be agreed upon.

Seeing how we are a few months away from two years later, it’s easy to assume the Huntley teachers want more, not less.

But, wanting more is quite an approach to dealing with the current economic climate and reality.

I don’t have any written proof but my suspicions are the Huntley teachers union filed for arbitration in an attempt to get more from a “final agreement.”

The district uses the term “Final Agreement” in its web site link to the contract.

Keely Cat didn't stay in the bag very long.

The cat (not Keeley) may be out of the bag, word of mouth wise, if it turns out the union leaders notified its members that they filed for arbitration.

This is why I have filed Freedom of Information requests for any documents filed or correspondence and emails sent by the union.

Supt. John Burkey has the choice of being transparent and providing the information or he can try to cite an exemption from disclosure.

It’s the District 158’s leader’s choice whether or not he wants residents to know what the teachers union is asking for, and what the district’s response is to the union.

He may not want taxpayers to know the teachers union filed for arbitration (if they officially did.)

The current twenty-six page agreement can be found on the district’s web site using this link.

On page 24 you can find this:

Agreement #1

The BOE and HEA will form a joint committee to review compensation for certified staff members. Review areas include:

  • Current salary schedule – the committee will make recommendations to the Board of Education for alternative schedules.
  • Retirement compensation – the committee will recommend a salary structure for all retiring certified staff members.
  • Somehow in a we-want-more interpretation of what words mean Huntley teachers apparently are expecting something more to be agreed to when only committees were agreed to.

    Huntley spent over a $100,000 in lawyer fees for an attorney to sit in on the many hours of negotiations including the many hours when there was literally nothing to do but wait for a response from the union who was then at the time in a separate room.

    That’s a lot of money to make sure, for example, an agreement is carefully drafted that doesn’t put the district at future financial risk because of a union legal maneuver.

    If Huntley entered into an agreement that somehow allows the union’s attorney to get more benefits paid to the teachers without the board agreeing to it, in my opinion, Huntley got some bad advice.

    It would be so bad, if I were on the board, I would try to terminate the lawyer’s services, if that person was the district’s primary source of legal advice.

    While other districts are discussing with their teachers union on modifying their current agreement in the downward direction, many people may have this reaction if it turns out the Huntley teachers are officially pressing for more benefits under the current agreement:

    What planet are the Huntley teachers living on?

    As you may expect, no Huntley teacher may want to be officially quoted or indirectly referenced about what is really going on. My email address is on this page.  I more welcome information and am happy to pass it along without identifying the source.

    One might guess that the union hasn’t agreed to any joint committee meetings to discuss the current salary schedule.

    For months the union took the position that there won’t be any such joint meetings on alternatives to the current salary schedule until after an agreement was reached on retirement compensation.

    Apparently the state’s pension benefits and plan isn’t good enough for Huntley teachers, who probably want more benefits and lower costs written into their agreement.


    Do Huntley Teachers Want More under their Current Agreement? — 2 Comments

    1. Most likely burkey will hide whatever information he can.You know the greedy teachers want more for less.More money, free insurance, more money in the pension plan provided by the taxpayers,(some unemployed).Less students and less hours.As has always been proven, when you have a union the taxpayer is the loser.What we need in D158 are more pink slips for the teachers to try and show them what the real world is like.Although they already know and they do not want to be a part of it.

    2. “They didn’t feel that administration had taken the same level of cuts that they were expecting the union to do,” teachers union President Kolleen Hanetho said. “The teachers are willing to make sacrifices. We just wanted to see everyone make the same level of sacrifice.”
      From “District 300 teachers nix concessions”

      Hey, way to go – with unemployement numbers that are approximately 19% (including those who have fallen off because they are part time workers or been unemployed outside the normal reporting limits), that should mean that your people/members should be hit by the same percentage of the general population. We both know that’s not happening, don’t we Ms. Hanetho?

      I thought we were all in this economic battle together? And all the people who are thanking Heaven that they still have ANY job and ANY benefits, well, your people/members haven’t been hit anywhere near that have they? Now, you’re trying to base your reasoning on a local comparison to administrative staff. Yes, I’d probably cut admin staff, however, that has ZIP to do with your people/members.

      Oh, remember the referendums that sucked so much money from ALL of the District’s Taxpayers? Why didn’t the tax pushers just run to the District and give them piles of money before FORCING EVERYONE ELSE to do so? If it was really so important there would have been lines of people making large donations.

      I see when it comes to Unions, they too won’t “give” unless others are forced to! This is somehow supposed to make you look like the poor, oppressed “good guys/gals”?

      I don’t think so.

      What will happen in District 158? I don’t know. However, the public can be assured that in any district where concessions are made now, years down the road, that money and those benefits will be made up quite nicely.

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