Discussions about teacher evaluations and agreement on minor issues brought the Deerfield Education Association teacher’s union and Deerfield Public School District 109 closer at their Tuesday session with a federal mediator, according to representatives from both sides.
Teachers at Deerfield’s elementary and middle schools have been working on an expired contract since August. The union and the District have been in mediation since October.
“We made progress on some issues but the major issues remain unresolved,” union president Dennis Jensen said.
Late last month the District offered a proposal to the union about evaluations in an effort to break the stalemate. Tuesday both sides discussed counter proposals, according to School Board and negotiating team member Steve Schwartz.
“We gave them a counter proposal on evaluations. We had a chance to talk face to face about it,” Schwartz said. “We didn’t get their counter proposal this time but we expect it at the next session,” he added referring to the Feb. 29 talks.
Jensen said the union and district agreed on issues surrounding meetings between staff members and a student showcase event. Some special education issues were involved in the meeting agreement, according to Schwartz.
“We packaged all the meeting issues and that included some special ed meeting issues,” Schwartz said. He also expects a counter proposal from the union Feb. 29 on the District’s financial package.
Jensen has continually said compensation will be the last issue reconciled because of its interconnection with everything else. He still expects the union to have something for the District next week.
“We told them we are working (with a financial expert) and going through the issues,” Jensen said. “We will have something before or at the next meeting.”