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Geneva Support Staff Association (GSSA) Contract Negotiations
The Board of Education would like to provide a summary and clarify any misinformation regarding our ongoing negotiations with the GSSA. Our initial meeting with GSSA began in June of 2016. Both parties agreed that the "traditional form" of bargaining would be used to provide the exchange of written proposals. GSSA did not bring to the table a complete contract proposal from which to work, nor did they choose to use the existing Working Agreement as a starting point from which both parties could make modifications. Instead, GSSA chose to start with a blank slate, which required that new language, definitions and terms be established and negotiated over the course of many months. The Board team met with GSSA eight times between July 12, 2016 and November 9, 2016, largely related to language and working conditions.

On November 9th, the GSSA presented the Board team with a Powerpoint financial proposal that contained a double digit total compensation request approaching 30% in one year. At the November 30th meeting, the Board team provided feedback and requested the GSSA financial proposal be provided in writing. The Board team did not receive the written proposal until January 10, 2017. Since that time, both parties have traded counter proposals regarding a financial package. The Board has tentatively agreed to some items within their proposals; however; salary increases, insurance benefits and work day remain to be settled.

In April, the GSSA advised the Board team that they would like a mediator to participate in this process. The Board feels it has made measured and steady progress throughout this process. We are concerned that mediation will unnecessarily slow down the process; however; we have agreed with GSSA to use the mediation process. The Board of Education values all employees of D-304 and the important work they perform on a daily basis. Negotiating the first contract between employer and a newly formed bargaining unit can be difficult. We believe there is value in this process and will continue to bargain in good faith for a contract that is fair and sustainable.

Mark Grosso, PresidentBoard of Education
Geneva CUSD 304