Palatine District 15 teachers union agrees to meeting over contract

Updated 3/10/2011 6:02 PM

The Palatine Township Elementary District 15 teachers union has accepted an offer to meet with school officials about possibly reopening its employment contract.

Lisa Nuss, president of the Classroom Teachers' Council, made the announcement in a brief statement via e-mail to the Daily Herald.

"In regard to the recent board action, the CTC is willing to respectfully meet with (Superintendent) Scott Thompson and representatives of the board," Nuss wrote. "Once that meeting takes place, we will be better prepared to comment."

The meeting won't take place until after the new board is seated April 27.

A board majority agreed to that condition last week, with some saying the decision to wait downplayed potential political gain for incumbent candidates in next month's election. Other board members said the delay made sense so that the new board could decide who will represent it at any future negotiations.

Nuss said CTC will have at least two representatives at the meeting, to be determined by its executive board.

Board President Gerald Chapman said Thursday he hadn't heard the CTC agreed to meet, but was happy with the development.

"My reaction is that's great," Chapman said. "We're looking forward to the meeting."

Since salaries and benefits make up more than 83 percent of District 15's budget, and the teachers union represents by far the biggest employee group, the board has said renegotiating the CTC contract could reduce the district's deficit spending.

The current three-year contract called for base pay hikes of 0.75 last year, 1.19 this school year and 1.45 percent in the 2011-12 school year, in addition to step and lane increases. The contract expires Aug. 31, 2012.