Update: Board Weighs In on 109 Talks

Board representative describes real bargaining. Compensation discussion is on the horizon.

(Update at 9:45 a.m.) Deerfield Public Schools District 109 negotiating representative and School Board member Steve Schwartz agreed with the upbeat assessment of Thursday’s mediation session outlined by teacher’s union President Dennis Jensen.

“We had real bargaining, that was good,” Schwartz said. “It’s hard to tell how much progress was made but it was certainly in the right direction. We felt we had some good face time.”

Schwartz acknowledged receiving a counter proposal from the union on teacher evaluations and expects to see one on the compensation package at the Feb. 29 mediation session. The next round is Tuesday.

(Earlier) Representatives of the Deerfield Education Association teacher’s union gave a counter proposal on teacher evaluation to the negotiating team from Deerfield Public Schools District 109 at Thursday night’s mediation session, according to union President Dennis Jensen.

The groups meet again Tuesday.

Earlier: Parents Tell 109 Board, Union to Settle

Teacher evaluation has been one of the sticking points in the ongoing talks between the two sides since October. The teachers have been working on an unexpired contract since August when the school year began.

The School Board gave the union a proposal at on grading teachers at their Jan. 31 mediation session and the union gave its response Thursday. Jensen declined to say what was in the counter offer.

Overall, Jensen was pleased the tone of the meeting in the aftermath of a strike vote by the union Feb. 10 and charges of scare tactics from Board President Ellen London Sunday.

“It went pretty good,” Jensen said. “We spent a lot of time talking to each other. It was good for us to get back to the table and start to know each other again. We’re trying to do the right thing.”

Board mediation representative Steve Schwartz did not return calls to Patch for comment before the deadline.

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Gayle February 22, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Parents and community members who dare have a difference of opinion with Dr. Goier are never included on committees. She likes people to just rubber-stamp her ideas... just like the Board does. If people are on a committee and ask too many questions or disagree, then they are shown the door. There is only one way to repair the trust issues in this district and that's to do some house cleaning in the administration building.
DAD February 22, 2012 at 02:20 AM
"Why not just keep the contract the way it is, give the teachers their step increase or cost-of-living increase and settle for now." - That's effectively what happened last year, but without a cost of living increase. The board and union were unable to agree on a contract. Both sides tacitly agreed to continue under the same contract (the teachers agreed by continuing to work, the board agreed by not locking out the teachers). "Okay, guys, time to end all this bickering and get things settled. Zero degrees/15 degrees/bathroom every 2 hours or not." - These are some of the least substantial issues (in my opinion), but do point to the mistrust between the teachers and the board. If they can't agree on this, I am not optimistic about a quick resolution to special ed, evaluations, compensation and benefits (but hope I'm wrong).
Go With the Flow February 22, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Gayle I agree with you! If you don't like the way things are done then you're out! I really believe that's why the union is fighting so hard on all these issues. I think the only way to get a clean house at this time is for the union to unfortunately declare an impasse, maybe then the board will open their eyes to the true things that are going on in the school district besides what Goier tells them!
M. R. February 22, 2012 at 02:44 AM
It does not need to be a 3-year contract. There is no law saying that. The school and union just like to do a 3-year contract so they don't have to negotiate so often.
John Russillo February 22, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Well sure, do you blame them?


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