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Union Says No Strike Before April 12

Jensen pledges union will not file intent to strike before April 2 mediation session.

No move toward a strike by the will occur before its next mediation session with April 2, according to comments today by .

Based on Jensen’s promise and the rules of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, there can be no strike before April 12.

As the federal mediator released the final offers of both sides today in response to the, Jensen made it clear he hopes negotiations rather than a work stoppage will end the dispute.

The published proposals were out of date the as the DEA offered a counter to the District’s final offer at the mediation session that day. The District promised a response.

“We want to see what they come up with,” Jensen said. “We gave them a significant counter proposal and we want to see if they give us a significant response. We would much prefer to negotiate to a contract (than strike).”

According to Jensen, the DEA gave the negotiating team for the district a counter proposal before the Feb. 29 mediation session in hopes of furthering movement toward a settlement. He hopes the District will do the same ahead of the April 2 mediation to facilitate the process.

Jensen and the DEA may get their wish, according to District 109 School Board and District negotiating team member Steve Schwartz.

“We have a working meeting next week and if we come with something we will send it to them,” Schwartz said.

Should negotiations stall, the DEA must issue a notice of intent to strike 10 days before any work stoppage, according to both Jensen and District Superintendent Renee Goier. Since Jensen has promised no notice will be issued before April 2, no strike could occur before April 12.

The final offers are available on the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board website for both the union and the District.

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Harry Steindler March 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM
As has been my perception all along, I still believe that the teachers are looking to be treated respectfully while keeping the best interests of the students at the forefront. I am interested to see where both sides stand currently relating to special education services. The teachers’ proposal as released includes a number of provisions that I believe are important as we strive to make sure that our students with special needs receive first class services; that the teachers, speech therapists and social workers are guaranteed to be part of the process of designing and delivering those services and are always contractually assured that they will be treated with utmost respect including how services, working conditions and caseloads intersect; and through the “joint committee” proposed by both parties that parents are part of the review and monitoring process.
Harry Steindler March 23, 2012 at 10:31 PM
It’s just over the past six to ten weeks or so that the board and administration have started to respond to the voice of the community regarding special education services. That response was long overdue. The board and administration seem to be starting to move in the right direction. There are miles to go before special education and relationships are made right though. There’s much work to do for the administration to engender the requisite level of trust from the teachers and parents. We’re almost one year into the three year contract period. Including the provisions regarding special education sought by the teachers for the remaining years of the contract will help ensure a rebuilding of the collaborative environment that will make District 109 shine again. I believe everyone can agree with that. I implore the board to relent and agree to the provisions sought by the teachers regarding special education services. It’s right for the community, it’s right for the teachers, it’s the right move for the administration and board and most importantly, it’s the right thing to do for our children.
Gayle March 23, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Well said Harry!
Scott March 26, 2012 at 01:03 AM
The union offer says this regarding salary increase: "DEA’s proposal for a three year agreement would result in the following increases in salary. Year 1, $811,021; Year 2, $859,382; Year 3, $893,606." I don't see this broken down in the same fashion as the BOE's proposal (for example): 2011-2012 School Year • Average increase for all teachers including known lane changes will be 2.95%; • For teachers not in the retirement pipeline, the average increase will be 2.27%; • Teachers frozen in current Bachelor degree lanes will receive 1% on base salary; • Teachers frozen in Master degree lanes will receive 1.50% on base; and • For teachers on the schedule but not in the retirement pipeline (about 75% of all teachers), the average salary increase will be 2.41%. so it's hard to compare the two offers. How can each sides 'final offers' differ so much in form?

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