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updated: 11/7/2012 4:17 PM

Geneva school negotiations to resume Thursday

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  • Signs supporting Geneva teachers are along Kaneville Road East of Randall Road. The teachers union and district officials will have another negotiating session Thursday afternoon, according to the Geneva Education Association.

       Signs supporting Geneva teachers are along Kaneville Road East of Randall Road. The teachers union and district officials will have another negotiating session Thursday afternoon, according to the Geneva Education Association.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

Negotiations will resume Thursday for a new contract for Geneva school district teachers, according to union President Carol Young.

"We have been having good discussions," she said Wednesday afternoon. Representatives of the Geneva Education Association and the school district met for eight hours Tuesday. The two sides exchanged offers.

Unlike last week, neither side will release details of their latest offers, according to Young.

"We (both parties) talked last night and decided that we would not do that. We felt like it was not helpful to be going back and forth in the press and the public," Young said.

Strike plan update

District 304 officials released more details Wednesday on its strike plan.

Teachers could go on strike as early as Friday, and Young said she couldn't say as to whether they would. The union members gave their leadership permission to call a strike, so it does not need to be voted on again.

The school district plans to keep buildings open if there is a strike, but will not conduct classes. Instead, there will be supervised activities for students. Attendance will not be required.

The plans are:

• At elementary schools, activities will vary by school and may include math games, computer lab activities, presentations from community agencies, writing and journaling, reading time, physical education, arts and crafts, and workshops.

• At the middle schools, students will hear presentations from community agencies; participate in team-building activities, interactive games, and physical education activities; play math, strategy and word games; and complete art projects, among other activities.

• At the high school, the Fitness Center, gymnasiums, library and computer lab will be open. Classrooms will be available for quiet reading, and other activities are continuing to be developed, according to a statement from the district.

Union members attended a Geneva school board meeting Monday night, but did not address the board. At previous meetings, several have done so. "We have said our piece," Young said. "Continuing to do that doesn't seem to be a good use of our time."

School board President Mark Grosso declined to characterize Tuesday night's negotiations, what progress was made and whether he thought a strike is likely to happen.

"I would just as soon not comment," he said Wednesday afternoon, to avoid having a comment interpreted "one way or the other."

There are 422 teachers, social workers, school psychologists, librarians and other certified educators in the bargaining unit; 388 of them are members of the GEA.

The teachers have been working under an old contract, which expired in August.

Thursday's negotiations start at 1 p.m. at the district headquarters, 227 N. Fourth St., Geneva.

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