It started with the 22-month long contract negotiations between the Prairie Grove Elementary School Board and the Illinois Education Association affiliate called the Prairie Grove Teachers Association.
Word is that there were harsh words during the negotiations until at the end they were brought into the sunlight, so to speak, and the public was allowed to watch what was going on.
Then, a minor disagreement resulted in a strike.
That it was minor is evidenced by strike’s being only one-day.
It was over before I got a chance to go out and take a photo.
Then the IEA Prairie Grove Teachers Association decided to run a slate against the four incumbents.
The candidates backed by the teachers’ union,
- Laura Barker
- John Bowman
- Margaret Ponga
- Rick Salvo
beat the highest vote getter among the incumbents, Laura Domoto, by 38 votes. All four were elected.
Take a look at the door-to-door campaign piece of the IEA Four:
Sorry for the fuzziness of the copy. (If anyone sends me a clearer copy, I shall substitute the images.)
19th Century military theorist Carl von Clausewitz said, “War is the continuation of Politik by other means.”
The over six-hour meeting Tuesday night (ending shortly after one AM) certainly demonstrates that if one replaced the word “war” with “meetings” in von Clausewitz’ axiom, not much has changed since the 1800’s.
At the first meeting, the new ruling coalition voted themselves into all of the offices, which were vacated when the incumbents lost.
Elected Board President was Margaret Ponga.
She ran Tuesday night’s marathon meeting.
(Background to the meeting from the now-outsiders’ viewpoint can be found here.)
Read the agenda and you can see why it took over six hours.
Two of the agenda items demonstrate how the teachers’ union exercised its new power in District 46:
7. Approval of the termination of all business with Ottosen Britz Kelly Cooper Gilbert & DiNolfo, Ltd effective May 14, 2013.
8. Appoint Robbins Schwartz as interim counsel to conduct all legal business until such time new legal representation has been decided by the board of education.
But, ironically, the law firm that handled the teacher negotiations fired the Board before the new Board could terminate it.
Nevertheless, the new Board majority insisted on passing a motion to terminate the Ottosen law firm.
Another irony is that the old law firm charged $195 per hour, while the new, interim one charges $235 per hour.
There will be a search for new permanent legal representation.
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