A meeting Monday with a federal mediator of Palatine Township Elementary District 15 and a union representing secretaries, program assistants, nurses and other support employees failed to produce headway, with each party blaming the other for lack of progress. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 28.
The Educational Support Personnel Association, which represents the employees, said in a statement it was prepared to present a counter proposal to the board, but that the board's last offer was incomplete and misleading, and so the union couldn't respond. "Tonight was a very disheartening meeting," said Angie Drazkowski, union president. "We were ready to bargain, but instead of taking one step forward, we took two steps back."
The board said in a statement that the union's characterization of the meeting was not accurate. The board has made a comprehensive proposal and despite multiple intervening bargaining sessions and mediation sessions, the union has failed to respond, the board said. "We are hopeful that the negotiating team will finally respond with a proposal at the next mediation session," board President Lisa Szczupaj said.