Breaking News Bar
updated: 10/11/2012 11:55 AM

Huntley teachers meet with mediator

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Huntley Education Association co-presidents Chris Laird, left, and Julie McLaughlin are applauded as they and other HEA representatives walk into the Huntley Unit District 158 headquarters in Algonquin to talk with school board members to discuss the terms of teacher contracts on Wednesday.

       Huntley Education Association co-presidents Chris Laird, left, and Julie McLaughlin are applauded as they and other HEA representatives walk into the Huntley Unit District 158 headquarters in Algonquin to talk with school board members to discuss the terms of teacher contracts on Wednesday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Early Childhood Special Education speech therapist Julie Gates, center, stands with fellow teachers applauding the leaders of the Huntley Education Association as they walk into the Huntley Unit District 158 district headquarters in Algonquin to discuss the terms of their contract with school board members on Wednesday.

       Early Childhood Special Education speech therapist Julie Gates, center, stands with fellow teachers applauding the leaders of the Huntley Education Association as they walk into the Huntley Unit District 158 district headquarters in Algonquin to discuss the terms of their contract with school board members on Wednesday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Huntley Unit District 158 teachers gather outside the district headquarters in Algonquin to show their solidarity before members of the Huntley Education Association meet with school board members to discuss the terms of their contract on Wednesday.

       Huntley Unit District 158 teachers gather outside the district headquarters in Algonquin to show their solidarity before members of the Huntley Education Association meet with school board members to discuss the terms of their contract on Wednesday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Huntley High School math teacher Beth Knott talks about what she and other representing members of the Huntley Education Association are asking for in teacher contracts.

       Huntley High School math teacher Beth Knott talks about what she and other representing members of the Huntley Education Association are asking for in teacher contracts.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Huntley Education Association Co-President Julie McLaughlin thanks teachers for their support as they are about to walk into the district headquarters in Algonquin.

       Huntley Education Association Co-President Julie McLaughlin thanks teachers for their support as they are about to walk into the district headquarters in Algonquin.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Huntley Unit District 158 teachers gather outside the district headquarters in Algonquin to show their solidarity before members of the Huntley Education Association met with school board members to discuss the terms of their contract on Wednesday.

       Huntley Unit District 158 teachers gather outside the district headquarters in Algonquin to show their solidarity before members of the Huntley Education Association met with school board members to discuss the terms of their contract on Wednesday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 

There were no signs or flags, no chanting or marching. Teachers in Huntley Unit District 158 showed solidarity with their union leaders by wearing green and congregating outside of the school district's administration building before a scheduled mediation session.

Wednesday was the first meeting between the school district and the Huntley Education Association with the help of a mediator.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"We want to thank you profusely for coming," said Julie McLaughlin, the union co-president. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is our contract, and together we will get this solved."

Huntley Education Association represents about 650 teachers.

Negotiating teams for the school district and the union began talks on a new agreement in July. Both sides reached a tentative agreement in early September, but union members rejected the proposed contract. The two sides are working on a contract to replace a one-year agreement that expired on June 30. Teachers have been working under the conditions of the expired agreement, which included pay freezes.

Union negotiating team member, Beth Knott, a math teacher at Huntley High School, said teachers are uncomfortable with aspects of the contract that includes pay and tuition reimbursement for teachers.

"What we are asking for is what we already have," Knott said. "We took pay freezes and they cut our extra duty pay. We have great, hardworking teachers in the district who deserve to be paid for their work."

Knott said the district wants to change step increases, which a teacher receives for advanced education and degrees.

"We don't feel like we are being greedy here," Knott said. "We are just asking for the status quo."

McLaughlin said a strike is not imminent and that both sides want to reach an agreement without strike action. Teachers in 158 last went on strike in 2008.

"We plan to solve this and hope to work out some of the issues we are still having," McLaughlin said.

About 300 teachers waited outside the administration building for about an hour. Many wore green to represent the HEA.

"We are here to support the members on the negotiating team who have worked all summer long on the negotiations," said Jean Sunderlage, a preschool social worker. "It is all volunteers and they worked through the summer."

School board member Kevin Gentry said the board was unaware of the teachers assembling outside of the administration building.

Gentry declined to comment on the negotiations.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here