Teachers in Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 have been working without a contract since school started in August, but the federal shutdown is now threatening to drag negotiations out even longer.
The district and the Arlington Teachers Association, which represents more than 400 teachers and support staff in the district, are scheduled to have a federally mediated negotiation meeting on Oct. 16. However, if the shutdown lingers, the mediator will not be able to attend and the meeting will have to be rescheduled, school board President David Page said Tuesday.
Nearly 100 teachers attended the September school board meetings to show support for Union President Peter Reckard when he made a brief statement that the association is still committed to finding a fair agreement for both sides. The teachers' previous contract expired Aug. 15.
Neither side will comment on the specific issues yet to be worked out in negotiations, and both have said that any statement released to the public will be made jointly.
The last such statement was posted on the district website in August.
"Arlington Heights District 25 and the Arlington Teachers Association have been working diligently since March negotiating a new agreement. While many strides have been made, some difficult issues still need to be resolved. We are moving toward mediation in order to work toward a fair agreement as soon as possible," the statement reads.
Without a new contract, teachers are continuing to work under the terms of the previous agreement.
District 25 has nine schools with an enrollment of more than 5,000 elementary and middle school students.