Teachers’ union, school district offer views of contract negotiations
Editor’s note: Members of the Rockford teachers’ union — the Rockford Education Association (REA) — and the Rockford Public School District 205 negotiating team met for four hours Sunday, March 25. What follows are two press releases — one supplied by the REA and the other by District 205. They are presented in the order in which they were received.
The REA filed its intent to strike notice with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board March 12. The move paved the way for a legal strike to occur at any time after a 10-day waiting period. The REA will meet Monday, March 26, to discuss its course of action. The union has already rejected the district’s only contract offer.
The Rockford Board of Education meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 27.
REA press release
March 25, 2012, 4:30 p.m.
The bargaining teams for the REA and RPS met for four hours today at the request of the federal mediator, Randy Larson. After a fruitful discussion of the outstanding issues, the board team told the REA that they could not finalize anything today because they didn’t have the authority to settle the contract.
Karen Bieschke, president ofthe REA, said: “This is outrageous. We have been bargaining for 11 months with over 60 negotiations sessions. With the education of over 28,000 students hanging in the balance — the REA was prepared to get this done today. We did our homework and came prepared. Why didn’t Superintendent Willis and his team do the same‘?”
REA members will meet tomorrow, Monday, March 26, 2012, to decide their course of action. Instead of being presented with a tentative agreement, they will consider the board’s last official offer — the one publicly published and already rejected overwhelmingly by the REA membership.
District 205 press release
March 25, 9:55 p.m.
ROCKFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS DISTRICT AND REA TAKE MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN BARGAINING PROCESS
Today, the district’s negotiating team met with the REA’s negotiating team for four hours to work toward a new agreement. The district remains confident that an agreement can be reached and a strike may be prevented.
Although the REA presented an oral hypothetical scenario to the district’s bargaining team, the REA chose not to submit a formal revised proposal.
After more than 10 months of bargaining and about 50 bargaining sessions, some of the scenarios from the REA’s negotiating team were received for the first time today. The district needs to conduct an economic analysis before it is able to respond in full.
In a show of good faith, the district’s bargaining team agreed to present today’s hypothetical scenario from the REA to the school board for its consideration at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, March 27.
Further details will be posted at www.205teachernegotiations.com as they become available.
Posted March 26, 2012
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