Geneva, Elgin, East Aurora teachers start year without new contracts
Since mid-August, nearly every Twitter post from the Geneva Education Association -- whether about the start of school, the death of Sen. John McCain or a scholarship fund -- has the hashtag #teachingwithoutacontract.
The union's deal with the district expired Aug. 15.
Teachers in Elgin Unit District U-46 are also in negotiations for a new contract, and theirs expired Aug. 10.
East Aurora District 131 negotiations are at an official impasse.
Geneva Superintendent Kent Mutchler said the district and union negotiators continue to meet, but that they haven't come up yet with a tentative agreement to present to the school board and union members. The union president could not be reached for comment.
Representatives of the Elgin Teachers Association rejected a new contract in May.
Union officials have met with district officials several times over the summer, and negotiations are due to resume in September. The old contract expired Aug. 10.
The East Aurora district is different from many local districts' unions in that the contract covers not only teachers, but support workers and office staff.
The old contract expired June 30.
The district filed paperwork Aug. 24 with the state declaring an impasse. That triggers creation of a state-mandated fact-finding panel or assignment of an arbitrator to review the proposals, which can take up to 75 days. If either side rejects the fact-finder's recommendation, the union could then strike 30 days later.
The union says the district will receive a total of at least $64.6 million in state aid for the next three fiscal years and can well-afford the salary raises and changes it proposes. It also charges that district officials made mathematical mistakes in calculating the costs of the district's proposals, according to the offer it posted on the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board website.
The district president, however, says the school district is expected to receive less state funding this year than last, and that if that amount stays steady, it would get $24.3 million over three years, according to a statement posted on the district's website.
They also differ on whether the contract should contain enforceable class-size limits. And the district wants a contract reopener for the second year, which would be activated if the amount of general state aid given to the district or evidence-based funding is changed.