Parents and teachers pack the gym at Field School in Park Ridge, supporting the support staff.
When the school year started I ran a couple of posts about the Park Ridge foot doctor, Anthony Borrelli. Borrelli got elected to the District 64 school board in a low turn-out election. He barely eked out a win over an incumbent.
Borrelli ran on a platform of no pay raises for the people who care for and teach Park Ridge kids.
It now appears that the Scrooge-like spirit of Park Ridge foot doctor Anthony H. Borrelli has taken over the board made up of John Heyde, Scott Zimmerman, Eric Uhlig, Dan Collins, Pat Fioretto and Sharon Lawson.
When the Park Ridge Education Association, which represents the teachers in District 64, finally settled on their contract with 2% increase over step, it was the longest negotiation since the teachers went on strike in 2003.
Normally, the Park Ridge Teacher Assistant Association, also an IEA affiliate which represents the district’s paraprofessionals, then are offered a contract similar in percentages to the PREA.
Not this year. Even with a mediator, there has been no settlement and the paraprofessionals have been working without a contract since August.
Meanwhile the non-union employees – secretaries, health assistants and custodians have had no contract discussions since January.
Then with a one week notice they were given a take-it-or-leave-it offer that took back accumulated sick days and demanded a step freeze.
The gym in Park Ridge’s Field school was packed last night with red-shirt supporters of both the PRTTA and the non-union employees last night. Parent and teachers spoke during the usually pro-forma public comment section of the board meeting for more than 90 minutes.
Standing ovations greeted testimony by employees, parents and teachers.
To their credit, speakers focused on the contributions these employees make to Park Ridge’s high quality schools.
None made mention of the 40% budget surplus the district is running.
It kept running through my mind, however.