Reports: GEA Members Authorize Strike; Nov. 9 Earliest Possible Strike Date
The Kane County Chronicle reports that Geneva teachers have authorized a strike. Meanwhile, School District 304 issues an e-blast saying the soonest a strike could happen is Nov. 9. Both sides say they hope a strike won't happen.
The Kane County Chronicle reported Wednesday that the Geneva teachers union has voted to authorize a strike, and the Geneva School Board issued a statement Thursday saying the soonest a strike could take place is Nov. 9.
Both sides said they're hopeful a strike won't be necessary.
In the Chronicle story, Geneva Education Association President Carol Young acknowledged that union members had authorized a strike. The article did not say when the vote was taken or the number of the votes for or against.
In its e-blast, the Board of Education said board members the GEA have been negotiating the terms of a new contract since February. On Aug. 6, a federal mediator began meeting with the parties to help in the negotiations process. Following the most-recent meeting on Oct. 5, both parties agreed to another mediation session on Oct. 23. However, on Friday, Oct. 12, the union declared impasse.
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"It is disheartening to the members of the Board of Education that the GEA has chosen this route, as the board has remained steadfast in its commitment to negotiating in good faith and coming to a fair and reasonable agreement," the e-blast said.
“These are unprecedented economic times,” said Board President Mark Grosso. “Given the economic uncertainty that faces our School District and our community, the Board of Education has asked all employee groups to forego certain pay raises. Our administrators and all other nonteaching personnel have done so. The board believes that it is only fair that teachers share the load and forego one pay raise.”
Pursuant to the Illinois Labor Relations Act, the Board of Education and the GEA are required to submit their final offer to the other party, the federal mediator and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, by Oct. 19. If no settlement is reached by Oct. 26, the final offers will be posted on the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board website and the Geneva School District website.
Until that occurs, the board’s final offer will not be disclosed to the public, as it is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act. Any final contract will be made public once ratified, as provided by the act.
According to the e-blast, teachers may not go on strike until 14 days after the best and final offers from both sides are posted, and they would have to give the district at least 10 days notice of their intent to strike.
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