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Strike looms in Highland Park school district

Updated: December 3, 2012 1:36AM

Teachers in North Shore District 112 are planning to rally at district headquarters today, Oct. 4, to show solidarity as negotiators for both sides head into a session with a federal mediator.

Teachers on Sept. 28, filed a 10-day notice of intent to strike with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.

However, the earliest teachers legally could strike is Friday, Oct. 12, or 28 days after the North Shore Education Association formally declared that negotiations had reached an impasse.

The rally is set to take place shortly before 4 p.m. at the District 112 administration building, 1936 Green Bay Road, Highland Park.

“We are disappointed with the tone that the union leadership has taken in discussing the negotiations,” said School Board President Bruce Hyman. “They have called our offer ridiculous and meager, they have maintained that we are unwilling to compromise, and they have questioned our integrity and our intentions.”

Hyman said the school board’s goal is to arrive at a settlement within the district’s means, largely determined by property tax caps.

“Our negotiating team is willing to remain at the table and look for solutions that both parties can live with, but may be outside the box of what previous settlements have looked like,” he added.

Union President Pamela Kramer said earlier, “It seems that while the board does not mind paying huge administrative salaries (and benefits) … when it comes to the teachers, the board is insisting on pinching pennies.

The contract dispute between the North Shore Education Association and the school board centers exclusively on economic issues — everything from base salary and pay upgrades tied to education, to pre-retirement pay boosts and health insurance premiums.

“Teachers feel that they deserve compensation and benefits at least on a par with those of surrounding districts,” Kramer said

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