Nov. 9 could be Geneva teachers' strike date
The earliest Geneva teachers could go on strike would be Nov. 9, the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board confirmed Monday afternoon.
The Geneva school district had announced so again on Friday. The Geneva Education Association that day gave the district 10 days' notice it intends to strike, but did not mention a date in a prepared statement announcing the matter to the public. An intent to strike notice does not necessarily mean a strike will take place.
Under state law, teachers are prohibited from striking until 14 days have passed once the state board posts both sides' final offers. The state board did so Oct. 26. This holds even though the GEA put its final offer on its website, gea4students.org, Oct. 19.
According to the school district calendar, Nov. 9 is a teacher in-service training day, and students will be dismissed at 11:05 a.m.
The school board on Friday said the next negotiation session is tentatively set for Nov. 6. The teachers' statement said no date had been scheduled. Neither statement said why the negotiation wasn't being resumed earlier.
School board President Mark Grosso and union President Carol Young could not be reached for comment late Monday afternoon.
The teachers union has also posted a reply to points the school district made in its final offer, disputing some of them.
The Geneva school board contended that negotiations were delayed in May and June at the union's request, and further delayed in July by the vacation of the union president.
According to the union, a subgroup of negotiators worked throughout May on compensation issues. It said the July delay was due to the process of picking a mediator and fitting dates into his schedule, and that the GEA negotiating team continued to work during Young's vacation, participating in a mediation session July 19.
The union also said that the confidentiality agreement between the board and the union — pledged at the start of negotiations — was null once mediation was requested. The board had tweaked the union on this in the letter accompanying its final offer last week.
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