University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022
SRP-IMAGE-Logo

EP School District 124 teachers agree to contract

By Joe Boyle

After several months of tense negotiations, a tentative agreement was reached between the Evergreen Park School District 124 and the teachers union to avert a strike.

The tentative agreement results in a three-year contract for the teachers, who said they were paid considerably less than other local districts. The agreement was reached late in the evening on Oct. 2.

A packed gymnasium of teachers, parents, students and supporters attended a District 124 School Board meeting on Sept. 25 at Central Middle School in Evergreen Park. During the public forum, several teachers, parents and residents implored the board to provide an increase in salary to the teachers and paraprofessional staff.

Negotiations between the District 124 Board and the teachers union began in March.

Despite the high emotions, some members of the teachers union expressed some optimism over what they felt was considerable movement by the board during negotiations on Sept. 23.

“We’re so glad to have reached the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Linda Babiarz, a union co-president. The Evergreen Park resident is a third-grade teacher at Southwest Elementary School.

“It was a long road, but I think we have a contract that is fair to our members and that helps us provide our students with the education they deserve,” Babiarz added. “We’re very relieved that we’ve come to an agreement and can focus 100 percent on our students.”

School District 124 is comprised of five schools serving kindergarten through fifth grade in each of the four quadrants in the village. The elementary schools are Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest. All students then enter Central Middle School beginning in the sixth grade. The District 124 schools represent more than 1,800 students.

During the Sept. 25 board meeting, Tracey Gleason, a technology teacher at Southeast Elementary School, summed up the feelings of the teachers in the district.

“I was a parent long before I became a teacher,” she said. “Without a pay scale comparative to other districts, we will eventually lose more teachers. Your outstanding staff deserves better.”

The teachers union had rejected an 11.5 percent salary increase offer on Sept. 23 for certified staff and increasing non-certified staff by 15 percent over three years, according to several teachers. However, they were encouraged that the board made a counter offer. The teachers said that the meeting was the turning point in negotiations.

The tentative agreement avoids a strike. The teachers union had given a deadline of Thursday, Oct. 17 to go on strike.

The union had cited low wages that in turn created a large teacher and staff turnover the past several years as being pivotal issues in calling for a strike.

“The board is grateful that we were able to come to a tentative agreement following a lot of hard work by both sides,” said Kim Leonard, the District 124 school board president, in a written statement last week.

District 124 board members and the union represent more than 200 teachers and staff. Terms of the three-year contract was not disclosed as of Tuesday. The contract could officially be approved during the next District 124 School Board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Local News

CRRNH_TabaresLopez_062922

Mayoral race comes to Archer

Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…

election 2022

Two incumbents square off in new 6th District

Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

USPS logo new

Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue

By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

Totally Blown had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days and its lawyers are seeking a lighter punishment. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment

By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…

Palos Pines residents say cars speeding in their neighborhood are dangerous. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights neighborhood pining to eliminate speeding

By Jeff Vorva Residents in the Palos Pines subdivision are worried for their safety and their children’s safety because cars are constantly racing through the Palos Heights neighborhood. Two people spoke up at Tuesday’s city council meeting and a third had an e-mail read to the council members. Also, other neighbors have been contacting police…

election 2022

Update: Morrison, Gorman duking it out for county commissioner spot

By Jeff Vorva In what is one of the nastiest races around, Sean Morrison and Liz Gorman are duking it out for a commissioners’ spot on the Cook County Board. Gorman had the job in the 17th District from 2002-2015 but gave it up to work in the private sector. Morrison took over and had…

election 2022

Six candidates vie for GOP nod in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva Six for 6. It’s a busy Republican field in the newly drawn 6th Congressional District and six candidates are duking it out on June 28 for the right to take on the Democratic survivor between sitting U.S. Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman, and Charles M. Hughes. The new 6th District includes a…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
CRRNH_TabaresLopez_062922

Mayoral race comes to Archer

Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…

election 2022

Two incumbents square off in new 6th District

Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

USPS logo new

Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue

By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

Totally Blown had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days and its lawyers are seeking a lighter punishment. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment

By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…

Palos Pines residents say cars speeding in their neighborhood are dangerous. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Heights neighborhood pining to eliminate speeding

By Jeff Vorva Residents in the Palos Pines subdivision are worried for their safety and their children’s safety because cars are constantly racing through the Palos Heights neighborhood. Two people spoke up at Tuesday’s city council meeting and a third had an e-mail read to the council members. Also, other neighbors have been contacting police…

election 2022

Update: Morrison, Gorman duking it out for county commissioner spot

By Jeff Vorva In what is one of the nastiest races around, Sean Morrison and Liz Gorman are duking it out for a commissioners’ spot on the Cook County Board. Gorman had the job in the 17th District from 2002-2015 but gave it up to work in the private sector. Morrison took over and had…

election 2022

Six candidates vie for GOP nod in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva Six for 6. It’s a busy Republican field in the newly drawn 6th Congressional District and six candidates are duking it out on June 28 for the right to take on the Democratic survivor between sitting U.S. Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman, and Charles M. Hughes. The new 6th District includes a…

DVN Getty Insurance House Ad
Regional Bennett Auto Rebuilders House Ad