Huntley School Teacher Contract Views – Then and Now

These comments by Huntley School District Superintendent John Burkey in the First Electric Newspaper stirred my memory:

Supt. John Burkey tells union leaders that ratification will be delayed.

“Last year I was amazed that we avoided it,” said Supt. John Burkey.

“This year it just caught up with us.”

He slammed a three-year union contract now ending that he said included a more than 5 percent raise this year “while everyone else only got 1.7 percent.”

So I asked a participant with a long memory, a member of the board negotiating team in fact, Larry Snow, what he remember about how contract negotiations went before and during the Huntley Education Association’s strike.

Here is his reply:

Larry Snow

“The 158 board voted on a last, best and final offer that had teachers’ salaries for years 2 and 3 determined by a cost of living increase formula.

“With Supt. John Burkey’s nod of approval, board members Tony Quagliano, Kevin Gentry and Kim Skaja voted to reverse the board’s vote, as Board President Shawn Green literally was a no-show at the final negotiation meetings.

“This made it a 3 – 2 vote in caucus to toss aside a decision to have teachers’ salaries in years 2 and 3 track a cost of living index.

“The union didn’t care that overspending might cause future deficits and cause teachers to be laid off in the future.

“Huntley teachers should only look to their own union officials for striking, now causing deficits and teacher layoffs.

“Teacher greed means teachers who aren’t tenured are the ones that are laid off and they are not a union vote majority.”

Want some history?

Here it is:


Huntley School Teacher Contract Views – Then and Now — 22 Comments

  1. The Romans practiced a form of punishment called “decimation.” It means, literally, “one in ten.”

    Apply it to the teachers. Lay off 1 in 10 teachers. Make the union an offer on the next contract. If they reject it, lay off another 10%. Make sure that the union president is one of the laid off. If they strike, lay off another 10%. Then tell the union reps that if they step foot on school property they will charged with criminal trespass.

    Give union 3 days to return to work or the rest of them will permanently laid off.

    Then hire replacements, and set the salary at 50% of the last contract, with full teacher payment of medical and retirement contributions. Given unemployment rate, they’ll be lots of candidates willing to work at any pay.

    And when the unions object, tell them they take the deal or the entire district will be outsourced to other districts or to private, non-union, schools.

    Then tell the voters that outsourcing the education will result in a major reduction in real estate taxes.

    When the unions begin their uncivil, violent, thuggish behavior (storming the district offices, the private homes of board members, death threats, secondary boycotts, etc.), have them arrested and charge with mob action.

  2. Dear J, Democrats passed labor laws that make it impossible and illegal for what you propose to actually happen.

    These laws keep union abuses in place.

  3. To “You may want to know” Snow: thanks be to the “Chief Negotiator” for the 5+% raises handed out in a recession. Even today, the “Larry Snow Revisionist History Machine” is pumping on all cylinders with this latest claptrap. Will the lies and propaganda ever end?

  4. Democrats want teachers unions to be able to strike in Illinois and drive up costs and taxes.

    Jack Franks included. He leads this stupidity in McHenry County.

  5. Well, “Yes,” maybe yes or maybe no. But it’s an outside-of-the-box solution. And I think that parts of it can (and should) be implemented. But only if the school board has the cajones to try.

  6. J, by cajones do you mean willingness to violate the law? You encourage violation of the School Code and several labor labor laws by your suggestions including disregard for tenure, bad faith bargaining, regressive bargaining and illegal retaliation against members and officers of the union. You have tried to paint yourself as such a law and order type and now you recommend that school boards break the law several different ways?!?!?!

    Ridiculous assertions that sit ins and picketing are violent and thuggish behavior is one thing, but to actually encourage illegal behavior by school board members…with whom have you been drinking the Kool-Aid?

    Oh, I get it. Only those who disagree with you while breaking the law are a problem.

    You still haven’t mentioned what supports your apparent conclusion that the secondary boycott in Wisconsin doesn’t meet the exception and is therefore illegal as you claim.

  7. Cal, Have you driven anywhere with Larry? Do you know if he has purchased mandatory auto insurance? Did Larry make amends with the driver of the car he hit? Great negotiator you are Larry. So glad residents of D-158 tossed you out of office by voting for the other guy.

  8. Oh, lookie, lookie. Mike “union thug” defender (and fan of union violence) objects to my comments. Well, I was expecting a union defender/propagandist to comment. I’m not surprised it’s you.

    Okay, Mikey, tell us why teachers’ positions can’t be eliminated – and the incumbents laid of. Tell us which provision of the “School Code” and which “labor laws” would be violated by a reduction in force.

    I see no violation of any labor law in permanently reducing teaching positions in advance of a new contract – effective the day the old contract ends. Prove I’m wrong.

    And as teachers strikes are ILLEGAL, tell me why it would be illegal to fire the lot of them when they inevitably go on strike?

    And be sure to specify the title, section, and paragraph of whatever statute you claim would be violated.

    All it take is a school board to have the guts to stand up to thugs like your union pals. I have no doubt that your union buddies will call in astroturfing SEIU rent-a-mobs to threaten board members, businesses, and the children – always threaten the children, itsn’t that teachers union negotiating practice 101?

    Death threats are what unions do. Storming buildings, screaming and shouting, trying to intimidate the people is unions stock in trade. Violence, thy name is UNION!

  9. 158’s last contract was signed BEFORE the economy hit the fan. It also came about after so-called “negotiations” that ran from Feb. to Sept. and then the Strike card was played by the union anyway. Some call that chain yanking according to the union playbook. The deal made at the time was the best that could be done given the circumstances, the public’s not liking the fact their kids weren’t in school during the strike and so on.

    Now that the economy is on life support, the public/taxpayers across America are learning about the games that pushed states into financial disasters. The “It’s for the children.” PR isn’t working anymore. The respect for the Education Industry and unquestioning check signing by Taxpayers is O – v – e – r!

    Children stuck with underperforming teachers protected by the union and their fellow teachers are not getting a good deal. Neither are the parents who are watching even their kids piggy banks and college savings disappear in an attempt to survive unsustainable demands.

    Anyone who reads Internet comments should know that personal and political enemies prefer to talk about unrelated “stuff” instead of addressing the actual truth and topic.

    Try running for office and bucking “city hall”. New ideas – nah – not until the old crowd can claim them as their own.

    In other words human beings doing what human beings do when their castles got shaken by people other than those who rubber stamp – even at the expense of the children in a school district or the taxpayers who pay the bills.

  10. J,
    While I won’t even do my kids’ homework for them, I will make an exception for you. Just this one time, but then you have to learn to do things for yourself.

    The clearest violation comes with your taking aim at the union president specifically. See IELRA Section 14. This also consequently has the result of violating article 24-12 of the Illinois School Code.

    In addition, the regressive bargaining also violates IELRA Section 14. There is also a preponderance of information about the requirement to maintain status quo on the terms of the expired contract until a new one can be negotiated, but that appears to be predominantly case law rather than statutory at least as it relates to educational employees. It may be a spill over from the NLRA or ILRA. That was unclear to me in the few minutes I had available to spend on educating you.

    Your threat of trespassing is not entirely wrong, but you should realize that picketing takes place on rights of way and is protected by the Illinois Labor Dispute Act Sec 1.4.

    btw, educational employee strikes are specifically authorized under IELRA Section 13 except for a short time in the mid 90’s. I am not sure for whose benefit that carve out was written. Your statement isn’t entirely false though as I am told they are illegal in other states like New Hampshire. I will give you that.

    Please let me know if you are aware of any unlawful conduct on the part of the teachers during that strike. There may be time left on the statute of limitations if any conduct warrants prosecution. Oh there was a threat against the teachers though and it did involve the mention of a gun. The comments were pulled from the newspaper websites though. Maybe it was one of your NRA buddies that you mentioned previously.

    As our discussions have progressed, I have often suspected that you live primarily in a state of dementia. Now, I have to infer that part of your ignorance is that you are not a physical resident of Illinois either. You remind a lot of that pesky guy from New Hampshire. His first initial is j too. I suppose it is all just a coincidence. I don’t presume to speculate about such things.

    Finally, in addition to lacking an even remotely accurate view of the world, you exhibit a great deal of ignorance of the laws that relate to the subject matter. Yet you insist on asserting yourself as right despite clear evidence when you are wrong. As I am the apologist here according to you please lay out your kategoria dearest Meletus. (Please don’t assume that I think highly enough of myself to compare myself to the aforementioned’s adversary. However, the character just seemed to be such an appropriate personification of the behavior you exhibit.)

    Please find one comment I have made on here in defense of any organization or individual. I think you will be limited to finding me pointing out the errors, omissions, inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the comments made by you and one other poster.

  11. Section 14 of IELRA is really 115 ILCS 5/14.

    Laird, the union fella, says: my idea violates Section 14 (but doesn’t supply the paragraph number), specifically targeting a union president, and “regressive bargaining” (whatever that is). Actually, “union busting” has become a science.

    Officially, you don’t target the union president – YOU ELIMINATE HIS/HER TEACHING JOB. The “home ec teacher” goes away when the home ec department goes bub-bye.

    The president is still the union representative and meetings should be held off site anyway, in “neutral corner.” School boards have the ability to prohibit ANY person not on the payroll from trespassing and this included any union representative that is not an employee.

    105 ILCS 5/24‑12, aka Section 24-12 of the “School Code” requires 60 days notice for a reduction in force. Okay, Huntly should do what that school district in WI did, send out lay off notices for ALL TEACHERS, starting on Monday. Other than that, I find no reason why my proposal of ramping up layoffs can’t be adopted. Layoffs can always be rescinded at a later time.

    There is some case law that implies that the old terms continue until a new contract is negotiated. However, this will not be a problem when the entire staff is no longer working because they all got laid off. NO employees no payroll.

    Strikes: 115 ILCS 5/13 does not allow a strike if there are NO employees under contract. “Lay ’em off, lay ’em all off.” No standing for a strike.

    Laird blathers: “Finally, in addition to lacking an even remotely accurate view of the world, you exhibit a great deal of ignorance of the laws that relate to the subject matter.” Well, that’s your opinion. But you also think that storming a state capitol and doing a yet unaccounted amount of damage to the marble, sending death threats to Republicans, engaging in threats against businesses and threats of secondary boycotts, invading hospitals to “engage” a school board president who happens to work there, charging onto private property to hold Republicans hostage, using drum circles, noise makers and screaming, and chasing and cornering Republicans to be “non-violent sit-ins.”

    I believe that is called using ignoratio elenchi arguments.

    You opinion means squat, in other words.

    But I noticed you danced around the killer proposal – outsource all teaching to private schools on a contractual basis. Why, that’s almost as good as “vouchers” but without the envelope.

  12. BTW, I have lived in IL for 60 years, in McHenry County for 30 (so much for your residency theory, Laird). But like former IL rep, senator, and Crook County Board president candidate Roger Keats, I’ll be leaving the People’s DemoKratiK RepubliK of Illinois for a lower tax state sometime soon, where individual freedom is prized, and corrupt Democrats don’t run the place and extort even more taxes out of the people.

    Keats itemized most of the reasons to relocate to states like Texas (and TN, FL, AL, etc.) but left out one very important reason to leave. These states are “RIGHT TO WORK STATES.” It means that you don’t have to join a corrupt (is there any other kind?) union in order to have a job – and you can’t be made to pay dues to the unions.

    And next to “vouchers,” this scares union apparatchiks like Laird most of all – and why the unions are pulling out all the stops to prevent Wisconsin from curbing public employee collective bargaining. Because if public employees are transformed into voluntary (as opposed to compulsory) members, private sector businesses won’t be far behind. And this terrifies them. And what if it spreads?

    Wisconsin is already showing the way for Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa. Vote the Democrats out in Springfield and Illinois can join them.

  13. Dear Laird, didn’t the Algonquin police have to ask the teachers to leave school district grounds when the teachers decided to march onto the grounds during the strike?

    I guess trespassing to you isn’t “illegal” when it is done by union members.

  14. j,

    You must not have even finished the first paragraph of School Code Article 24-12. The seniority and recall rights that listed prevent the type of retaliation and interference that you promote. Those actions are also covered under IELRA section 14(a)(1), (2) and (3).

    There will be more than a few problems with laying off the entire staff covered under the above.

    Psst..the outsourcing I ignored because it would also violate IELRA, but since you don’t even finish reading the first paragraph of what I point you to, I am not going to provide a section #. You can choose not to look it up on your own. I was thinking maybe you already knew that though. Now I am unsure. You seem to just randomly decide things are legal, illegal or whatever strikes your fancy.

    You also like to call names without pointing to evidence. You still haven’t pointed to a single place where I defended any organization or individual in any way shape or form.

    I am sure you are aware that the biggest voucher experiment in the country hasn’t produced any significant results. All it shows after 20 years is that you can take 18,000 kids whose families care the most and improve parent satisfaction. While parent satisfaction matters, I don’t remember that being on any of the college applications I filled out.

    Larry, I have not previously heard of any police involvment. Can you please elaborate? Assuming what you say is true (a big leap of faith) did they not disperse upon being told to do so by the police?

  15. The above reference to “Larry” should read “You may want to know”. I apologize for the error.

  16. Laird bleats: “You must not have even finished the first paragraph of School Code Article 24-12.” Of course I did.

    “The seniority and recall rights that listed prevent the type of retaliation and interference that you promote.” Nope. Seniority doesn’t mean squat if all teachers are laid off. Claims of retaliation mean squat when all teachers are laid off.

    “There will be more than a few problems with laying off the entire staff covered under the above.” Of course. Law suits. Noisy jackbooted union thugs throwing tantrums (oops, I meant teachers screaming loudly). It’s a rather novel idea – for teachers – but not for factory workers. There’s an awful large amount of case law covering this subject. Ever heard of “plant closings?” I don’t remember which, but either Deere or Caterpillar is going to close an IL plant and relocate it to a right-to-work state.

    “the outsourcing I ignored because it would also violate IELRA” Nope. I reread the entire statute (115 ILCS 5) and there is no prohibition against sending students from one district to another school. You can’t cite a paragraph because there isn’t one.

    In fact, 115 ILCS 5/4 specifically states: “Employers shall not be required to bargain over matters of inherent managerial policy, which shall include such areas of discretion or policy as the functions of the employer, standards of services, its overall budget, the organizational structure and selection of new employees and direction of employees.” As the decision to outsource is INHERENT MANAGERIAL POLICY, the union has squat to say about it.

    Organizational structure…..not subject to collective bargaining. 5/5 says: “During this bargaining, the educational employer shall not be precluded from implementing its decision.” So the union can’t LEGALLY prevent a school district from outsourcing once a contract is expired. No doubt the IL Supreme Court (or possibly the USSC) will get a chance to rule on it. Years later….Won’t do the laid off teachers any good. And unfortunately for your argument, a MANAGERIAL DECISION to outsource is not a specified “unfair labor practice,” any more than a decision to close down an entire school is.

  17. Laird says: “You also like to call names” – one man’s “name calling” is another’s “speaking truth to power.”

    “You still haven’t pointed to a single place where I defended any organization or individual in any way shape or form.” – other than defending the ENTIRE take over of the Wisconsin, Michigan, state capitols, a state senate committee hearing resulting in arrest for disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, and storming the lobby of a private building in DC as “non-violent sit-ins,” you mean.

    “I am sure you are aware that the biggest voucher experiment in the country hasn’t produced any significant results.” Well, that what you union supporters would like to claim. But vouchers has always been about union power and not “the children” anyway. So why would anybody trust what you say?

    Any credibility the union had concerning care for the education of children evaporated when General Council Bob Chanin said in a speech. “…Despite what some among us would like to believe, it is NOT because of our creative ideas. It is NOT because of the merit of our positions. It is NOT because we care about children, and it is NOT because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power. And we have power because we have more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year….”

  18. That was National Education Association General Council Bob Chanin. In case you didn’t know.

  19. From the Washington Times, how unions “listen” to their members –

    “Prison guards at a Western Maryland correctional facility say a union boss berated and tried to intimidate them after they raised questions at a pre-shift meeting about how their fees are spent and the benefits of belonging to a union.

    The guards said the March 11 meeting at the Maryland Correctional Training Center started amicably enough when Steve Berger, their American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union representative, tried to rally opposition to proposed changes in the employee retirement plan.

    The meeting took an unexpected twist, they say, when Mr. Berger opened the floor to questions. When asked about the benefit of belonging to a union, why non-union members must pay a fee to AFSCME and whether the fees go into the same pot that helped the union give millions to Democratic candidates and causes in the 2010 elections, the representative launched into a threatening and profanity-laced tirade….

    …Sgt. Kelley and several other guards also said Mr. Berger, a retired guard generally liked by current guards at the facility, grew angrier with each new question, eventually challenging to a fist fight a 6-foot 2-inch tall guard who later posed a query….

    …The guards filed written complaints and sent copies to state Sen. Christopher B. Shank, Washington Republican, who has asked Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gary D. Maynard for an investigation….

    …Four guards interviewed for this story said at least 70 people witnessed the episode and either sent or signed a complaint. They said the incident also was recorded on a surveillance camera.”

    How does the song go? Oh, yes. “Look for the union label. And you’ll find a thug….”

  20. j,

    C’mon now. I asked you to at least keep track of what you write.

    You targeted the union president in the second 10% of your decimation. Hence the violations previously mentioned.

    You recommended that once all were laid off, hire replacements at 50%. By the second round when 19% have been laid off (i.e. over 15%), recall rights kick in. Hence that violation as previously mentioned.

    The violation of IELRA due to outsourcing is pretty clear violation of status quo, duty to bargain and exclusive bargaining, but other than that you may be right that there are no other violations.

    24-4.5 (b) includes your caption “During this bargaining, the educational employer shall not be precluded from implementing its decision.” 4.5(b) refers back to 4.5 (a) which specifies applicability to “an educational employer whose territorial boundaries are coterminous with those of a city having a population in excess of 500,000”. Read that as school code speak for Chicago. It is found throughout the school code. So, not applicable. Skimming doesn’t work. You have to read all the way through and follow references and antecedents.

    “Whether a topic is a mandatory subject of collective bargaining is generally determined according to a balancing test set forth in Central City Education Ass’n v. Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, 149 Ill. 2d 496 (1992), and City of Belvidere v. Illinois State Labor Relations Board, 181 Ill. 2d 191 (1998). Pursuant to the test, a matter is a mandatory subject of bargaining: (1) if it concerns wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment; and (2) is either not a matter of inherent managerial authority or is a matter of inherent managerial authority, but the benefits of the bargaining outweigh the burdens bargaining imposes on the employer’s authority.” Wanna bet whether wholesale firing of the entire staff would be subject to bargaining?

    The violation of IELRA due to outsourcing is pretty clear violation of status quo, duty to bargain and exclusive bargaining, but other than that you may be right that there are no other violations.

    We can go though another time why outsourcing as you lay it out won’t actually save money.

  21. j,

    So, now I am the power to whom you speak (or write)? I have to remember that one the next time someone disagrees with me. Just kidding, I realize that you incorrectly associate me with a lot of people about whom you really meant that statement.

    The name calling refers to what you have written about me as it relates to whom I support or defend. Can you point me to where I stated support, agreement, admiration, justification or defense of what happened, violent or otherwise? Just one reference will suffice to support what you say about me, just one. Go find it in our discussions. Or can you only come up with my assertion that you don’t seem to be able to tell the difference between actual violent acts and someone climbing through a window, clinging to a fixture, standing in a building holding a sign or engaging in a secondary boycott? Illegal as they may be, all are non-violent. Although the illegality of the last two have yet to be established.

    As far as who would trust me, I would suggest anybody that can read and use Google to verify what I write. I am fine with my credibility. I use my name. I stand behind what I write. I don’t make wild anonymous accusations (with the few exceptions where I accused you of coming to your senses on a few points. I promise not to make that mistake again). People I know and who know me frequent this site. If I were worried that my credibility were imperiled, why wouldn’t I just be anonymous? At worst, people think I am wasting my breath or typing rather even giving you the time of day.

  22. Laird, we aren’t going to agree on anything.

    Your job here is to defend teachers unions at all costs. You defend organizations that, if they are not still part of the mob, might as well be, even if the leadership is far-left, bordering on subversive.

    You’re fighting a losing battle. The con game you are defending, including “games” with medicare taxes, the built in auto-raises in pay and pensions, the full-ride on the taxpayer for medical and pension payments are really starting to anger the taxpayers.

    Details like the Oshkosh teachers who were getting *90* sick days per year (or half the teaching year), costing taxpayers an additional $4 million/year, are coming out, which are enraging the average tax paying citizen.

    Rather than the public supporting the unions in Madison against Walker, emails obtained by the Wisconsin Associated Press under FOI show that 62% of the public supports Walker and opposes the unions.

    You can lie all you want about “non-violent sit-ins” but the public is not buying it. The videos of the rampage, the behavior, the damage, and the reports of threats belie any such claim you can make.

    The con is over. The jig is up. The public employee unions, especially the teachers unions, are going down. The NEA/IEA, AFSCME, AFLCIO, and SEIU abuses of the public have done more damage to the workers, and especially the teachers, than you can imagine. I almost pity the union leadership when the rank and file (most of whom are not willing joiners) turn on them. Almost – but not. The unions have changed hard working, literate, scholars and teachers into parasites.

    I’m done with you.

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