Radio Silence On Labor Negotiations At D-64


Tuesday’s post addressed a lack of candor by Park Ridge City Manager Jim Hock in connection with the City’s labor negotiations.  Hock’s efforts to keep “the public” in the dark about what our City officials are doing when it comes to employee compensation is, in or opinion, reprehensible.

But Hock is not alone in his apparent disdain for “the public” and it’s need – and right – to know how its government operates, and at what cost.

Park Ridge-Niles Elementary School District 64 makes City government look like transparency central when it comes to much of its activities.  And when it comes to the District’s negotiations with the teachers union known as the Park Ridge Educational Association (“PREA”), transparency is so lacking that – as we understand it – not even all School Board members are welcome at those teacher contract meetings. 

That’s because the PREA, with the spineless acquiescence of the School Board, foolishly built into the current teacher contract (signed in 2009) a provision requiring non-disclosure of negotiations information.  Chalk that up to the handiwork of Board president John Heyde and member Eric Uhlig, rubber stamped by the remainder of the board at that time.  

We’d like to be able to report exactly how the PREA negotiators and D-64 negotiators Heyde and member Pat Fioretto are conspiring to shake even more shekels out of D-64 taxpayers, but we can’t.  And neither the Illnois Open Meetings Act (“IOMA”) nor the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) are any real help in getting that information.

So as D-64’s ISAT scores stagnate in mediocrity, as Carpenter School continues to play musical principals, and as taxpayers try to figure out what they are getting for the tax dollars they pour into the District’s coffers, Heyde and Company play footsie with the teachers union.

And “the public” remains none the wiser.

To read or post comments, click on title.

5 comments so far

When are people going to wake up and realize that any public official who tries to keep public meetings and negotiations secret needs to go?

EDITOR’S NOTE: As soon as they realize that they’ve handed their various branches of government over to bureaucrats, supervised primarily by go-along-to-get-along elected officials who would rather mindlessly rubber-stamp what the bureaucrats do than think critically for themselves.

To some extent, the “mindless, rubber stamping bureaucrats” are the ones who elected the members of the Board. It ought to surprise no one that Board members who owe their seats to the unions (and other organizations) which elected them just happen to agree with the people who voted for them. We can all see why everyone concerned would be reluctant to openly negotiate.

The papers in Park Ridge seldom keep reporters on staff long enough for them to learn what is happening. The Press is seriously at fault in this.

EDITOR’S NOTE: All sadly true, Mr. Godfrey. But at the end of the day, it still falls to the voters to inform themselves and demand more from our board members, our 4th highest paid bureacrats, and our 25th highest paid teachers.

You mean musical “principals,” right? Unless you’re a product of the system, you don’t make a strong point ranting about its mediocrity while flubbing basic word usage.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s called a typographical error, of which we are occasionally guilty.

You to look through old PR papers and in one from 1973, the principal of that school at that time retired after 23 years there.

Mater of fact she was the school’s first principal, and Carpenter has had 4 in the last 5 years.

I just realize my goof.

I meant to say “I sued to look through PR papers.

Guess I’m extremely tired.

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