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updated: 10/28/2017 9:42 PM

District 15 will begin replacement process if employees not back Monday

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  • Palatine Township Elementary District 15 presented its "last, best" proposal Friday during another bargaining session in an effort to end a support employee strike. These employees walked a picket line Wednesday at Winston Campus elementary and junior high schools in Palatine.

      Palatine Township Elementary District 15 presented its "last, best" proposal Friday during another bargaining session in an effort to end a support employee strike. These employees walked a picket line Wednesday at Winston Campus elementary and junior high schools in Palatine.
    Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

 
 

Palatine Township Elementary District 15 will begin the process of replacing support staff union employees who don't return to work Monday after the district presented its "last, best" proposal for a new contract, according to a document released by a district spokeswoman.

District 15 spokeswoman Morgan Delack said officials submitted that proposal to the union during an all-day and -night bargaining session overseen by a federal mediator Friday.

In an email, Illinois Education Association spokeswoman Bridget Shanahan called the offer "deceptive and untruthful."

"No, the ESPA will not accept the BOE's 'last, best' offer," she said.

Friday marked the 10th day of the walkout for the 454 secretaries, clerical workers, nurses and classroom aides in the Educational Support Personnel Association, which is affiliated with the Illinois Education Association.

The negotiations between the support staff union and the district ended without an agreement, and no new negotiations have been scheduled, Shanahan said earlier Saturday.

"The district has proven this is not about money or benefits; the BOE is only interested in power," Shanahan said. "We've done the research -- the board has the money to meet our requests without raising taxes and have previously offered proposals that contained a larger total amount of money which they have reduced and further continue to bargain regressively."

The "last, best" proposal, according to information provided by Delack, includes 2 percent wage increases for five years. The union was seeking a 2.5 percent annual wage hike.

The union also had sought continuation of a $9,000-per-employee retirement benefit, which is included until 2019 in the latest proposal.

Delack said differences between Friday's proposal and the last union contract include family and medical leave being extended to all full-time equivalent employees, not just those who qualified under federal guidelines; additional stipends and pay differentials for nurses and program assistants; and clerical staff being moved up to the program assistants' wage schedule.

Previously, District 15 was offering a five-year contract with a 1.85 percent increase in each of the first two years, and 1.85 percent to 2.25 percent annually for the three-year balance to coincide with the applicable tax cap.

Under the last contract, pay ranged from $11.30 an hour to $37.76 per hour, depending on the job and years of employment. Other compensation included full benefits for working 5½ hours per day and a roughly 10 percent contribution to pension plans.

Talks on a new deal began in February. The employees have been without a contract since July 1.

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