Elgin teachers union files labor complaint against U-46

Updated 1/18/2019 11:59 AM

The Elgin Teachers Association has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Elgin Area School District U-46 amid protracted contract negotiations since last summer.

The district's more than 2,400 teachers have been working without a contract since the previous one-year extension expired on Aug. 10. The terms of that contract remain in effect until a new agreement is signed by both parties. It granted a base salary increase of 0.94 percent with a step increase of 3.1 percent on average.


The union's labor complaint, filed earlier this week with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board, was submitted "to ensure that withholding of the step does not set contract precedent," according to a joint statement from ETA President Barbara Bettis and Suzanne Johnson, U-46 deputy superintendent of instruction.

"This action is required to preserve all remedies available under the law. It is our collective desire to resolve the issues at the bargaining table. As such, we will be requesting the IELRB to hold the timeline in abeyance until otherwise directed. The team is committed to reaching an agreement utilizing the interest-based bargaining process," the statement read.

In May, the union and U-46 administration reached a tentative agreement on a new multiyear contract for the 2018-21 school years that would have provided raises to all teachers.

It proposed switching teachers to a new compensation model with an average yearly increase of 3.88 percent over three years and offered some teachers the ability to transition to the new model over time, remaining under the current compensation system while accruing career credits.

That agreement emphasized valuing teachers' experience and career development, while recognizing their contributions outside the classroom, such as working on committees and performing curriculum review. Union membership overwhelmingly rejected that deal.

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