Oct. 4, 2018
As you may be aware, since February, the District has been meeting with the Geneva Education Association, the union that represents our approximately 450 teachers, to negotiate a fair and fiscally responsible multi-year contract agreement that addresses the needs of all District 304 stakeholders—including our students, teachers and staff, parents and community. While the District’s most recent contract with the union expired on August 15, our teachers are still working under the terms of that agreement. Since early September, when the District and union reached an impasse in negotiations, we engaged the support of an independent mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. We have had four negotiating sessions with the mediator since September.
On Wednesday, the union initiated a formal dispute resolution process that requires both sides to submit their most current offers to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) for public posting by October 10. Both offers will be posted on the IELRB’s website on or before October 17.
Today, the District
received notice that the union has also filed a 10-day notice of intent to
strike. We recognize that this may cause alarm for our parents and families. We
want to make it clear that, even though the union has filed this 10-day notice,
that does not mean a strike will necessarily occur. The Board is committed to
resolving this contract agreement without disruption to our students, families
and schools. We have two additional negotiation sessions with the federal
mediator scheduled for October 23 and 30.
The Board strongly believes in and respects our teachers. We
want to compensate them fairly and competitively for their work, while
operating within the financial means of the District, and welcome the
transparency of the IELRB public posting process. While we will comply with the
legislatively mandated timelines associated with this process, we also take
seriously our responsibility to be thoughtful and deliberate in considering the
best ways to do this through the development of a compensation and benefits
package that meets the needs of our teachers and community.
We will continue to share information with you, when available, through the District’s website, email and social media channels. Please show your support of District 304 schools and students by continuing to call upon both the Board and the union to keep talking and to work in good faith to achieve a contract agreement without disruption to our schools, students and families.
Geneva Community Unit School District 304 Board of Education