Supporters of the Niles teachers’ union dressed in black Monday to bring attention to ongoing contract negotiations with the Niles board of education. Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Niles teachers mourn contract

Published 9:18pm Monday, April 23, 2012

The Niles teachers’ union and its supporters mourned the death of the teachers’ former contract by wearing black to Monday’s Niles school board meeting.

Supporters stood side by side quietly in the hallway of the Westside Administration Building prior to the meeting. They also wore stickers saying, “You can’t put children first if you put teachers last.”

The board and the teachers union have been trying unsuccessfully to settle a new contract for the past year.

The board’s last offer asked teachers to take an 8 percent cut in salary, while placing hard caps on insurance. Supporters of the teachers’ union say the board is asking for too big a cut, while the board argues the cut is necessary in order to solve the district’s structural deficit problem.

Joe Washington, the union’s representative from the Michigan Education Association, and Katherine Elsner, the president of the Niles teachers’ union, were present at the meeting, but neither spoke during public comment.

Teachers’ union supporters left the meeting after public comment and prior to a presentation by Niles Supt. Richard Weigel.

“We are dressed in black to show how serious we take this process.” said Elsner outside of the meeting, “and really mourning the death of the contract we had in the past since the board has proposed an entirely new contract as we are negotiating.”

Elsner said she and other members of the teachers’ union chose not to speak during the meeting because the community has already heard what they have to say.

Jeff Curry, president of the school board, took exception of Monday’s display by teachers’ union supporters.

“They are just here to torment the board and the superintendent,” Curry said. “Does torment put more money in the bank for us? Does it cut our cost? It does nothing for us. We have to balance our budget.”

According to budget projections released by school officials, the district will go into deficit sometime in the 2013-14 school year if nothing changes. Supporters of the teachers’ union argue the board is painting too bleak a financial picture.

Jon Martin, a member of the Niles school board, suggested opening contract negotiations to the public. Weigel said he would see if that is a possibility.

Prior to the board meeting, about two dozen people stood outside of Ballard Elementary School in Niles in support of the teachers’ union.

Keith Klann, president of the Dowagiac teachers’ union, was there.

“Things aren’t as tough as what the Niles board is making it out to be,” Klann said. “It is one thing to negotiate and another thing to negotiate fairly.”

A few members of the South County Democrats Blue Tigers also came in support of teachers.

Negotiations are scheduled to continue with a mediation session May 7.

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  • S.O.L.

    The fact is we are a district nay a state in peril.I will tell you all a little truth,find a conspiracy theory in it if you will but I implore you to abstain.Mr Waldron has given you the facts and here are more the school board has asked the teachers to take an 8% reduction in wages which at the top of the pay scale is a $456.00 reduction monthly,furthermore the top of the pay scale is 67,500 yearly,to break that down over 12 months it is a $5472.00 reduction in salary,at a salary of 67,500 that is $5625.00 monthly pay on a 12 month scale and I might add the teachers work only 9 months a year,enjoy paid holidays,do not work weekends,spring break off,Christmas break off shall I go on? or have you heard enough.I am not delusional and am under no assumption that all teachers are at the top of the pay scale which only makes their contributions lesser.The next question comes to mind is it fair?NO it is not but then the devastation our community has experienced over the past few years let alone the past few decades.Yes like it or not this community save for the chosen hand full of individuals is poverty stricken,Do you suppose that moms and dads are working double shifts at Mcdonalds for kicks?no it is all that is left.Our manufacturing sector is decimated and that of surrounding areas in which historically one could go to in order to secure employment such as Elkhart are not much better.This may be a temporary hickup or a long term trend and good business sense tells you to hope for the best whilest preparing for the worst.The district is trying to ease us all into our new reality and yes poverty is our new reality and asking teachers and their unions to take some hits and frankly if given my drothers we would follow suit with Indiana and become a right to work state.This community has little to offer our youth anymore and it is a big world out there,a world they must venture into to become self sufficient because our community can not provide that for most anymore and to become succesful they will need the best of education we can offer them,thus the new tech and other improvements so do not fault the administration for seeking to give the children an opportunity.

    I ask the community to straighten up look around,disregard what your handlers on the evening news would like you to believe and witness the devastation we have,take a drive through our former industrial centers and tell me you can deny our problems which extend past the borders of our little town and into our state as a whole.It is time we buckle down and do right by our children and throw this blood sucking union under the bus and all those that suckle off of it.If the teachers do not like it we can find new ones and we will and soon when we by force of external pressures become a right to work state we will have the freedom to shed those unions for good,many of which that have helped bring us to our knees.Support this new superintendent and this school board,these conspiracy theories are ridiculous and little more than fodder to disract us from the issues that face the majority of us.

  • niles supporter

    S.O.L. It is very sad to think that you paint the picture of our local teachers as over paid with an easy life of vacations and summers off. Have you ever taught? There is more to teaching than vacations. You hold the future in your hands on a daily basis. Were you not at the board meeting where teachers expressed their average hours worked daily? Most signs were far more than 8 hours a day, and teachers don’t get paid over time. If you worked it out, most teachers work more than 9 months a year. Between taking work home, meetings, classes to keep up on certification (which is another required expense for teachers) often taken in the summer, meetings, professional development in the summer, not to mention tutoring, attending students sporting event and much more, teachers definitely work year round. It would be interesting to get an average teachers hours and expenses worked out over a year and look at their actual income. That would be more realistic.

  • kt1

    Would you be willing to take a $450.00 a month pay cut? If your boss came to you and asked you to do the same job you are doing right now for $450.00 less a month, would you?
    I wouldn’t.
    I also get tired of hearing that teachers only work part of the year, and use that as a means to justify pay cuts.
    You have no idea what it takes to be a teacher, and the amount of “over time” that is put in on a daily basis by teachers. Trust me, it all balances out. Plus, they use the summer to plan for the next year.
    Our community’s future depends on the education of our children. As you stated, the community is not what it once was and the only way it will grow is by providing our students with the best education we can give them. You may be able to find teachers that will work for less, but as my parents always said “you get what you pay for”.
    I AM NOT a teacher, but I support them 100%
    We are not looking for babysitters, we are looking for educators, and they come from a different pay grade.


    Agree with everything you said except that Indiana’s Right to work bill does not affect Teacher’s Unions, although they did reform Teacher’s compensation.

  • Community Supporter

    To the teachers and those who have already had to make changes… Indeed it’s a hard pill and I can empathize completely. The reality is, we have to roll with the hand we’re dealt. After eighteen years of progressive raises, bonuses and career advancements, I was part an entire department that was eliminated without warning due to cost pressures beyond our control and our CEO had to make a life or death decision for the company. Manufacturing in the Midwest isn’t what it used to be and will never be again. My lifestyle and debt commitments I made were frankly reckless based upon the looming reduction of manufacturing in the area. I ignored the signs and kept on living beyond a safe means. When I only had an unemployment check to put towards my debt load, the only thing I had left to do was draw from my retirement. Instead of moving from this state like so many have had to do, I chose to remain here and I drive 125 miles round trip every day and have been doing it for four years. How many companies in Niles have had to close their doors because of cost pressures beyond their control? Looking back, if given the choice today, how many of those employees would have gladly taken a pay cut versus having to drain their savings or move their families? I get the same high marks on my annual reviews today as I did the previous eighteen. Getting let go or taking a pay cut wasn’t about me, it was about the company trying to survive for the remaining families and owners. I don’t know the details, but I think the School Board has to follow specific laws with regard to auditing and what funds can be used for what by law. From what I’ve read, haven’t they gone through all the proper channels within local, state and independent audits and keep coming up with the same forecast? The State is cutting funds and the schools cannot spend more than they can take in. It’s not about the school board or the teachers; it’s about surviving in the reality of the times.

  • bhs82

    It is time that the teachers in Niles realize that they are not insulated from hard economic times. When a district is trying to be financially sound and within budget, tough decisions have to be made. If it is really so bad and you cant live with it, Move on to another district and good luck replacing the wage somewhere else in Michigan with the one you have now. I would suggest looking at the size of the administration staff and make some cuts in this area. The district in Niles is too small to carry this much waste. In response to KT1 who would not take a pay cut of 450 per month, easier said then done.

  • S.O.L.

    The underlying message is we are a community,the teachers are part of it and we in this community have all suffered,will you suffer with us or become a blight,you have enjoyed the good times now enjoy the bad times with us and allow us to keep standards high,it is your choice teachers you are with your union handlers or you are with the people,to use the children to say it is all us that make or break the childrens future and that of our community is disingenuous,our troubles are much deeper and it will take the state and the country as a whole regaining health to recover and union contracts that pay far to much are part of our problem,it has already sacd our manufacturing sector because we could not compete globally and now here are the unions fighting over the scraps from the governments table,you already helped destroy our manufacturing,leave this alone,I might point out any federal money our state is given is almost 50% deficit spent.This sounds like the liberal democratic argument vs conservative argument,according to liberals education is the answer,according to conservatives jobs are the answer,I intend to keep myself neutral but I might point out education with nowhere to apply it is useless.The point is the status quot will not due thus improvements to the district with technology.I do not know what the district will do with savings from a pay cut for teaching staff but I pray it will go in part to reduce class sizes or hire assistants for the class rooms that are now packed with 30+ children each which is far to many per teacher.I implore the school board to tell us what this will do to help educate the children if they did your union battle is lost teachers.I know how much you make and to say that your $800 house payment is going to sink you,are you serious?I say to you start planning to reduce your bills we the people have done so,join us or become a class unto yourselves,if you do not get this I turn my back on you as will much of the community,have your drothers.


    @ kt1

    When you make the life decision to be a teacher, you should do so with the understanding that you are a public employee. When there is not enough money in a community to pay for your services, you either move on or you take a pay cut. That should be understood before you ever take your first teaching job.

    I work at a school (Not Niles), 95% of teachers do not even work at the school for 8 hours a day…. In the Summer they are preparing for next year? Umm no they are not, not the entire summer, maybe 2-3 weeks before the start of the next year. Christmas break, spring break, medical insurance..pension… These Teachers have it pretty good. If they don’t think so, move on. Good luck finding a better paying job in Michigan, and if you go out of state, I hope you are vested in your pension. Go to a high school graduation and find out what the #1 occupation is that most kids want to become…. ohh a teacher, what does that tell you?

  • S.O.L.

    AMICHAEL – The Indiana right to work bill will be a domino effect and allow much more leverage to entities given priorly employment in many union shops was dependent upon joining a union and now they can sign employees that are not in the union as needed,suppose a company has bargained itself for years into the corner with wages under threat of strike you can see the benefit is clear.Many in the union would watch their company falter before making concessions,a non union member who might make 30% less and understands that the union will sink the company will happily take the job.The health of any community if looked at in a microcosm or on a grander scale the country as a whole is dependent on employment,as we lose the ability to compete more companies leave our shores for greener profit pastures leaving communities decimated in their wake and unable to keep the cogs so to speak spinning as we see here and on a grander level.The county of Berrien for instance how many jobs have we lost?how many new food stamp cases have we seen with the loss of those jobs?Im sure they closely mirror one another.So it is best people work as not to bring our society down as a whole given the added expenditures.Jobs friends are the answer,as is education but the trick is we have to be competitive or we have to be smarter and bargain for better import laws and throw out NAFTA as those three things are unlikely to occur from the bright boys on the shining hill we must compensate ourselves at all cost.

  • NilesVikingsParent

    “They are just here to torment the board and the superintendent,” Curry said.

    Mr. Curry, are you referring to the supportive community crowd or the teachers as your tormentors? Why are you continuing to ignore the voice of the community? Are your tormentors anyone who’s not in compliance with your (or should I say Richard’s) opinions for our school district?

  • S.O.L.


    The district has business to tend to and folks are standing in the way,Id call that tormenting.That is all the explanation I can offer and all the time I would spend answering more conspiratorial and inflammatory attempts by you and your bunch.

    So those of us that are stuck here and in properties that arent worth what we paid for them should pay more taxes is that what you folks think?We have sat by and watched the quality of education in this city decline,city services etc etc. and we should pay more for this privilege,fiddeldy dee.

    Can someone please answer me why we cant bring in new teachers and remove these obstacles.Can we sign non union members?It may be time so lets get to it.More of the community is with than against you.

    Please tell the community what you will do with the savings from these contracts,FYI if you want to win make it good and make it smaller class sizes.

  • NilesVikingsParent

    My fear, SOL, is that the highly qualified and very effective Niles teachers will leave, especially the younger ones who have the most to lose in the long term of their careers. This will leave our children (and the future of our community) in the hands of incompetent first year teachers who do not have the ability to manage a classroom. Many of our Niles teachers have excessive educational degrees in addition to years of experience in teaching, and deserve to be paid for their expertise. What kind of message are we sending to our youth by communicating that if you work hard and become educated, some bullies on the school board can cut your pay and threaten to replace you? I find all of this appalling and I’m not alone.

  • S.O.L.

    NilesVikingsParent -

    If you are not alone in that regard I suggest you gather up you and all your friends and go be first to sign up for a new millage,go ahead,no I thought not.What are we teaching the youth?Hopefully we are teaching the youth that we have seen better times and now is the time to cut back,that is at least reality.You speak so highly of these teachers do you believe that one of them would step up and say no millage for the rest of you,no they would not or do you suppose they would come to a new agreement if there were going to be lay offs increasing class sizes for our children,NO THEY DID NOT let alone would not.You speak to me of how I or anyonme else should be remorseful concerning individuals that are pulling down over 65,000 a year at the top of the pay scale in a community racked with poverty,shame on you.NO we will not be taxed anymore for these salaries,the people you ask to sacrifice more many make far less,now who is appalled.To be more direct many of us are appalled with your positions.

  • Ms

    Here is the main thing you are missing, sure it is $400 +/- pay cut, but what you aren’t including is the insurance change that the teachers would have to absorb. So in addition to the 8% pay cut, the insurance change they are bullying them to take would make it an almost 20% cut. Sure, I understand that they have to take a cut, but that is absurd! Also, why not point out, instead of the top out pay scale teacher (which is a teacher that probably has been in Niles Schools for 15+ years, and probably has enough education to have a doctorate in ed), why don’t point out the lower paid teachers that make est. $30-$35,000 and what they will loose. Doesn’t make your point as vaild. These teachers DO NOT get paid for christmas vacation or spring break, they get paid for when they work, and like the previous post said- no over time, no extra pay for the other things they do on their own- which so many of us would not do, unless we were paid!! We have outstanding educators that care and WE cannot afford to loose them. Thank you Niles for SUPPORTING NILES TEACHERS!!! We, as parents, need to make the community aware!!!!

  • S.O.L.

    Class is in session REALITY 101 kiddies so listen up – This little presentation will leave your sense of media induced reality somewhat in turmoil particularly the libs amongst the audience,So that those of you entranced by the liberal medias lies I will begin with language you can understand.Once upon a time there was a thriving city surrounded by other thriving cities we called this area Michiana,the area was filled with bustling factories,retail outlets and most importantly little houses with white picket fences filled with people that had bright futures ahead of them and wanted for little given jobs were plentiful.Then over a period of several decades those bustling businesses were drained of resources and were unable to compete globally given the unions that had sprung up inside them refused to give enough,poor federal regulation on imports,etc etc and all the people in the little houses became very poor.This is the level of intelligence I feel I must exude in order for many to understand.I can beat my fists on the podium no longer I am drained by those that offer a lot of moral arguments while disregarding the realities we presently find ourselves enveloped in.

    Look the manufacturing sector in this area has long since seen its best days and I am very doubtful our community will recover.What we have witnessed is a disaster,a disaster we have left behind for our youth.If we do not all begin working as a team to lower costs we will fail as a community.It is catastrophic what we have left behind for our children let us not add to it by handing them poor educations as well and noone in this area can afford to be taxed not one more dime,those days are over we can not spend our way out of this.We must begin to reduce what we spend,it is ludicrous to pay three fold what we ourselves make for our public servants.I can say no more there is no defensible argument against what I have said.It is the truth accept it or accept it not.

  • S.O.L.

    ms april

    So misguided,I understand your frustration however salary is defined at dictionarydotcom as -a fixed compensation periodically paid to a person for regular work or services. If the teachers are paid on an hourly rate they would get overtime one would assume,you stated they are paid for when they work,no mam they are salaried.I would assume all said salary covers Christmas etc.

    Now on to the heart of your argument the lower paid teachers lets say that average is 36,000 a year that is less than a 3600 dollar cut per year,and I understand we value our teachers but do they value us enough to give our community a break when needed?The extra contributions you say that bring their cut to 20 percent as youve said,I firstly can not validate that number but secondly those as far as I am aware come at the state level.

    On another note might I ask do you know what the present contribution is?what is the contribution for the average Joe that is not a teacher?furthermore how many in our community do you in your infinite wisdom believe go without insurance or are not even offered insurance OR CANT AFFORD THE INSURANCE THEY ARE OFFERED.I know plenty in these catagories.So do not think those folks will vote for any type of millage.

    I know substitute teachers that work for $75.00 per day many of which would be pleased to have these jobs.

  • thinking man

    S.O.L what is your issue? I have a idea for you, get up and try to make your life better. o wait let me guess no one is hireing and you can not find a job. your attitude is the reason we need better teachers in this community. Smart people dont make excusses they do what they can with what they are given and always try to make it better.poverty may be your reality but not mine, i work hard i skip meals i do what i have to to make sure my family makes it and flurishes in the trying times we live in.Remember sol anyone can go out into this word and find a way to make a living, but it takes real men and women working real hard to make our own grass green. To say our kids need to go elsewhere for a living just go to show you have not done your part in making our town better for them. this does not surprise me the way you talk tells me you feel taking less in trying time is understandable and we need to suck it up. you can suck it up elsewhere my family will work hard to insure our town is the place to be.

  • thinking man

    Niles viking parent im with you. I hate bullies and do not understand why the citizens of niles would allow the schoolboard to do this to our great town. niles is one of the largest communites in berrien county we should have a school system that is talked of as the best. to show our kids to accept anything else is crazy


    thinkin man… you are your own argument’s worst enemy… You work hard you skip meals and you do what you have to make sure your family does well. Sounds like you have had to make a lot of sacrifices in the down economy… You don’t feel teachers (who get paid by people such as yourself) should have to do the same? Nobody is advocating starving them to death, they will still be there getting paid less, are we to assume they will become worse teachers out of bitterness and spite. When I was in school most of the higher paid older teachers were the worst ones anyways, let them go to another school and bring in the young energetic teachers that can relate to kids and aren’t poisoned by the way things used to work….

  • thinking man

    i was just using that as a expression to work hard and let nothing get in your way of what you want

  • thinking man

    and no teachers should not take a pay cut they are the heart and soul of our community without them niles will be over ran by parents that have to work double shifts at mcdonalds cause they are not smart enough to do something better for themselfs

  • thinking man

    and yes kids hate old teachers cause old teachers are not dumb and do not let kids get away with stuff that younger teachers would

  • thinking man

    THE WAY THINGS USE TO WORK? its the same game these days if anything we have it easy, have you heard of the great depression.o you must think america means handout. thats right you do think that, that is why you are taking what you are told on this issue instead of going to a meeting and READING. niles school system is not in as much trouble as protrayed by the board

  • Community Supporter

    So, Niles Viking Parent –

    No pay cut, no benefits cut. School goes into deficit within 6 mos. What happens next? Workforce reduction. This scenario doubles the loss to the kids. Union bosses DON’T VALUE THE BEST TEACHERS, they only value the ones who’ve been around the longest and have paid the most dues. The schools will be forced to increase the number of students per teacher and classroom size AND the children will be in the hands of some of the incompetent senior teachers who’s children’s growth and scores fall below State averages and should have been removed years ago. (Just keeping the mud-slinging balanced from you calling all first year teachers incompetent.) Shame on both of us. Why not take the Union out of it all together and let the ENTIRE COMPETENT STAFF of Niles Teachers decide for themselves and put the contract to vote now? The Union has already cost them enough by delays.

  • Community Supporter


    Reality is hitting all around us. South Bend School Board cuts budget by $12M. Two schools will close and 80 teachers are losing their jobs.

    Check the news from earlier this week. Cass, Edwardsburg and St. Joe Public Schools are making significant cuts in their budgets to stay out of deficit. The Niles community, Teachers, School Board and Superintendant are not alone in the hard choices and sacrifices. As a matter of fact, the Niles secratary’s and administrators have already agreed to cuts.

    If the Union were truley looking out for their members instead of their own bully tactics, then leave it up to those who are most affected to make their own decisions before the slips come out.

  • Kili

    Your assumption is wrong. Teachers contracts go from the first day of school to the last day of school and are based on the number of days school is in session. Yes, they have xmas, spring and summer break.
    These are not “paid vacations”. Most school systems have a defered payment plan. This is a benefit for both the teachers and the system. The teachers can have an even flow of salery through out the year, and the system is able to keep a fair amount of money in the bank that would otherwise be gone at the end of the school year.

    There are very specific unemployment laws that apply only to teachers. A teacher that has ‘reasonable assurance’
    of having a job the next school year can not claim unemployment benefits in the summer (or xmas and spring break for that matter), even though they are technically unemployed.

    We constantly hear from the different government entities that we must improve education to compete in the world. Yet school funding continues to be less and less and the teachers are the first ones to be dumped on.

    Many of the comments seem to think that 8% is nothing.
    How many years did it take the teachers to get that 8%?
    How many years will it take for them to get it back?
    8% is not necessarily a 1 or 2 contract amount. It could have taken years and many contracts to get 8%.

  • S.O.L.


    I BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO YOUR OPINION but do try to refrain from 6 posts inside an hr it seems odd,anywho :)….

    What is my issue.I am madder than he..ll at the greed and extortion and all out idiocy that has brought us to this point.I am upset from the top down look at the shape this country,this state this town is in,good grief if you are not, there is something wrong.Friend I dont live in poverty and I will tell you why not cause I am smart with the resources I do have,I have done the right things at the right times,do I blame anyone for the troubles I do have?Well I am not the one that has decimated or allowed the decimation of small towns across the USA,what bothers me the most friend is not the opportunities that have been robbed from me but the opportunities that have been robbed from my children.I ask you friend what would you have me do for my town,I could open up a factory tomorrow and would love to in order to help my neighbors and thats what it would take to really help,anything short of that and I may has well go plant flowers on the highway but Id be out of business a year from that given we can not compete with overseas manufacturing.I am sorry I believe in making good choices and that would ruin me,I think everyday what could make our community strong again,it sickens me to see what has happened to our manufacturing and the inevitable downsizing that has brought to our retail and restaurants as well.I am a patriot and I love my city and have not fled like so many leaving behind foreclosed property which drags the rest of us down,I have done right and I will not keep quiet while our children are robbed of an education as well,now tell me how am I wrong?

    On the bright side Pratt industries has come to the old United store fixtures in the township 2-4 hundred jobs,bless you Mr Kidwell and staff keep up the good work!

  • S.O.L.


    Yes what have you added? exactly they are salaried,well put together but that is it in a nut shell is it not?

    Sir/Mam I plainly strongly do not care to see more lay offs or taxation in our community.I have been watching this unfold from day 1 whether we are talking about the school closures from a few years ago or the lay offs.Unlike many that contribute to this forum I have children in the school system and know first hand the quality of some of the teaching staff and the bloating of class sizes,I have a short list of teachers that are overworked and some are just plainly disorganized,disgruntled or just plainly havent the attitude to teach children.It has been suggested to me that those individuals are protected by the union even though they are poor so what does that tell you,it tells you things are out of control regardless what aspect you look at and more control needs be in the hands of administration,do not suggest just cause they are there they are worthy that is far from the truth.I believe that what needs to transpire is we need to hire more teachers to water down the class sizes but what will wind up happening is lay offs will surely come if this contract isnt negotiated and even then they may come,what is troubling further is that it is true many of the poorest teachers are the ones waiting around to collect their pensions and the young energetic tech savy teaching staff will be the first to go given seniority clauses inside the union and these kids need teachers that can relate to them,not to say that they do not require the mentoring from some of the elder teachers because there are some really wonderful teachers that are older as well.You need to really see this mess first hand.

  • SirJames

    S.O.L….I take strong offense to your comments about how the teachers work. Yes, there may be some that work how you stated, but let me tell you. My wife is a teacher and I have NEVER seen someone work as hard as she does. I’m lucky if we get a chance to even talk during the evening times when she is grading and preppeing for the next day. She has been doing this many years and is a fantastic person who is giving our kids the best and greatest education one can get. Time off during the holidays and summer you say? Huh! That is when she is prepping for next school season to make sure that she is updated and making the program fresh.

    Do I believe that there should be some give-and-take for a new contract? You bet! Do I beleive that the Union should back off just a wee bit and compromise some? Yes!Times are tuff for all of us and everyone needs to contribute to a certain degree. But, before you go and spout off all these figures and “slam” these teachers for not just bending over and taking it where the sun don’t shine, you better get all the facts and figures and not just the ones that makes your points look good.

    Did you bring up that they want to also make the teachers to pay a lot more for their insurance? NO! Tack that onto an 8% pay cut and see what the total percentage of comes out at! Also, did you happen to mention that most teachers have not had a pay raise in a very long time? No!

    So, to all of you just mouthing off saying that the teachers should just suck it up or move on….GEAT A LIFE! Don’t even think for a second that we have not already made cuts already to our way of living!

    I could go on and on about you shameful people talking about how “bad” the teachers are for not just giving in, but I have already wasted enough of my time with you so called “Niles community people”. Maybe you are the ones who need to just suck it up and move away.

  • S.O.L.


    Do enlighten me what is being asked for insurance premiums that is further out of line than what an average person pays.I did say some not all teachers were not great and if that is not your wife then kudos.The sacrifices are overwhelmingly appreciated.
    I like your comment then just move away but friend do not tell me that,I could give you a multitude of reasons why I have the right to offer my opinion and at the end of the day thats what it is whether or not you care for it is your own issue.Dissenting voices will always be, get used to it,you may feel as though your own opinion is privileged but here you are just another voice.

    If your wife is a teacher then you are well aware of the increase in class sizes,do enlighten me how that has affected her students,her and the quality of instruction.Do enlighten me how that came about it was lay offs was it not.Do tell me if you believe more lay offs would be devastating.


    YES! Sir James is correct we should all just move away! That will leave A TON of money to pay these teachers!!! Ohh… wait… no… it wont… It will do the opposite you say?!?! Ohh man Sir James is it possible you don’t have a clue what you are talking about?!?!

  • bill123

    I think the one issue the teacher “supporters” are avoiding is the fact is we have no money to pay the wages. Cuts must be made. It’s happening all over the entire State. If you supporters don’t believe this, what then do you think is the motive of the school board to ask for these cuts? I think most of us are teacher supporters….I include myself in that group….but I can also do math and I just don’t think the money is there. If you truly believe the community for the most part is on the teacher’s side then let’s propose a millage….have a vote. The millage will be for the sole purpose to give the teachers what they are asking for. Do you think it would pass?

  • Ms

    We are supporting the teachers so that they get a FAIR contract!!!!!! A cut is inevitable, yes. But, the point we — as teacher supporters — are trying to make is that the school board needs to negotiate. Be fair. The cuts, in addition to the insurance changes are anything but — fair. Will they add another % to the cut, if the teachers don’t agree to a contract? Does that sound like negotiating or bullying? Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Belittling doesn’t make us change our minds. We are a voice, some just speak nicer. My children attend Niles Community Schools, the teachers make all the difference in the world. Please- walk a day in a teacher’s shoes, before you “think” you know what they do!

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