Hinsdale District 86 teachers say they will be in the classrooms next month

hinsdale district 86
Teachers outside Hinsdale South High School on June 2 | Kimberly Fornek/Sun-Times Media

The union for the Hinsdale High School District 86 teachers on Friday reassured the community that school will start as scheduled, even if a contract has not been signed with the district.

“Faculty will attend all previously scheduled pre-student attendance day events, workshops, meetings, and orientations with the overall goal to provide the vital strong start to the academic calendar,” the Hinsdale High School Teachers Association said in a prepared statement.

“Parents, student and community members, alongside teachers, all agree that the district’s top priority must be providing a best-in-the-state education to the students without delay by the board’s radical proposals.”

Board President Richard Skoda responded that the board, and community, are relieved with the union announcement.

“However, the level of unnecessary angst in the community about school being interrupted by a union job action has not dissipated as the union has not promised to not disrupt the school year after day one,” Skoda said.

Both sides claim to have the community’s support.

Skoda said the community response to the mailing the district sent presenting its side “has been overwhelming supportive of the board’s position.” He challenged the union to rescind the strike authorization taken in May to reassure the community there will be no disruption in classes.

Teachers association spokesman Michael Palmquist said a strike is still an option, but it’s “something we don’t want to do.”

The first day of attendance for all students is Aug. 22. Freshmen and transfer students attend an orientation day Aug. 19.
Regarding negotiations, association officials said the ball is in the School Board’s court.

“In June, the association made a counter proposal to the board that keeps the district competitive with other districts and increases the teachers’ share of health care costs. Still, as of July 25, the board has not offered a counter proposal in return,” the statement read.

“Accusations about who made the last offer or who didn’t are semantics,” Skoda said. “Since March, the board has increased its offer from 0 percent to 1.7 percent. The union decreased its demand from 5.45 percent to 5.29 percent. It is up to the individual resident to decide who should make the next offer.”

Skoda also said the negotiation teams had a productive meeting July 24 and was to meet with the mediator again Tuesday.

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