Reader Thanks Chicago Tribune for 'Objectivity'

In the growing public relations war in the ongoing teacher contract negotiations between the Dist. 86 board and Hinsdale high school teachers' union, a Darien resident thanks the Chicago Tribune.


Thank you, Chicago Tribune, for the reminder that school board works for property owners and parents, not the teachers union. Today, both public and private sector employees would appreciate a 1.7 percent raise in pay, and that means an increase in take-home pay. Common sense still rules over convoluted logic expressed through the National Education Association by Hinsdale 86 spokesman Mike Palmquist as stated to the Tribune, "Under the board's current offer, the take-home pay of nearly every teacher would be reduced." Such delusional reasoning, given an average 2012 teacher salary $105,494, given a teacher strike vote when offered 1.7 percent, serves only to awaken the sleeping silent majority of voters in District 86.

Roger J. Kempa
Darien, IL 

Carol Park June 23, 2014 at 02:33 PM
The Chicago Tribune editorial that Mr. Kempa lauds was certainly not objective, when it used the figure $300,000 as pay for 2 school nurses. That number was debunked weeks before this editorial, when the D86 HR director finally admitted that he had made up the figure! And yet the editor says he stands by their editorial. The lesson: do not trust the Tribune!
Linda Burke June 23, 2014 at 08:17 PM
Hi Carol. I agree that Monday's Tribune editorial was far from objective and contained both false and misleading information. Tribune news coverage had already corrected the $300,000 figure for two school nurses, but the correction was obviously ignored by the editorialist. For a balanced account of the negotiations, see the article on the Hinsdale Doings website by Kimberly Fornek, "District Board approves salary for support staff, continues teacher negotiations." It should appear in print on Thursday. With all things considered, the teachers' offer raises total expenditure on teachers by only 1%. For balanced coverage in the Tribune itself, on the board's lavish spending for non-academic purposes among other issues, see the articles by Annemarie Mannion. No reporter has pointed out so far that Mr. Kempa has been handsomely rewarded for his public support of the present board majority. In December 2013 and thereafter, he vocally defended the zero levy, which reduces district revenue below the CPI. What a coincidence that on March 17, 2014, he was hired on a no-bid contract as Interim Treasurer through May 16 at $750 a day and proceeded to work for 19 days, receiving a total of $14,250. Not bad for 19 days of work. A long-term substitute teacher of an academic subject earns $257 a day. It is unclear what Mr. Kempa did to earn his pay. At board meetings, he was seen at the table with other administrators, sleeping through the meeting. I didn't think this present board majority could surprise me any more, but the blatant quid pro quo of putting Mr. Kempa on the payroll was audacity beyond my expectations. The board majority has also spent taxpayer dollars like there's no tomorrow on extra administrators, expensive outside consultants, and--perhaps most outrageous of all--a settlement of the abusive Dianne Barrett lawsuit (crafted with $16,771 worth of a lawyer's time), by revising the student privacy policy to open up confidential student records to board members without a parent's permission. That's in addition to the tens of thousands of dollars drained from the district coffers by her lawsuit per se. Posters keep writing "this is the job we elected them to do." Really? How much of the actions described above did anyone knowingly "elect them to do"? I would be curious to know how anyone can justify their behavior on any grounds, ethical or financial.


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