Geneva School Board Calls Special Meeting Tuesday for Executive Session on Collective Bargaining

Board members are expected to ratify the three-year teachers contract agreement established in an 11th-hour negotiation session that avoided a teachers strike.

School District 304's Board of Education is expected to ratify a three-year teachers contract after the executive session of a special meeting now set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20.

School Board President Mark Grosso said after Monday's regular meeting of the Board of Education that the board would be meeting early next week in special session but he was not sure at that time when the meeting would take place. District 304 sent notice of the meeting around 2:10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16.

The Geneva Education Association voted Wednesday to ratify the agreement.

If the terms of Monday morning's 11th-hour agreement are accepted, it will mean the end of protracted and stressful negotiations between the School Board and the GEA.

Sunday's negotiation session, which concluded in the wee hours of Monday morning, avoided a teachers strike similar to those that have popped up in school districts throughout the Chicago area this year.

Both sides agreed to keep the terms of the contract private until the GEA and board ratify the agreement.


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Bob McQuillan November 17, 2012 at 05:45 PM
The BOE is elected by the community and thus, while seated, they determine what is in the best interest of the community. Agree or disagree with the decision, it is their decision to make. Monday night's decision does not need to be made behind closed doors. Actually, they will meet in executive session, discussion the terms of the contract and then reconvene the meeting and vote on the contract. If it is rainy or cold, I hope the BOE allows those that want to stay for the vote to wait insdide the building instead of on the street. The interesting part in all of this is that the entire negotiation process can be open to the public. There is no state or federal law that requires the meetings to be held behind closed doors. The meetings could be videotaped and shown on the district website or people could sit through the 8 hour sessions. Both sides would need to agree to have open meetings. There would not be any public comment during the sessions but the community could voice their concerns on places like the Geneva Patch. If course it would probably take 2 years to get an agreement and still not all would be satisfied. I wonder which side would not agree to open sessions?
Thomas November 17, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Bob, There has never been a better time for you to run for the school board again. Thanks to the Patch, your name recognition has never been higher. Imagine all of the change you could effect from the inside looking out instead of the other way around. You would be involved in "every executive session" and every future contract negotiation. Please seriously consider it. Although, I do not often agree with you, you would definitely have my vote.
G.Ryan November 17, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Bob, do you know of any other Board in Illinois that allows the taxpayers access to the contract negotiations set forth?
Bob McQuillan November 17, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I know that Cary was very close to doing it. Voted down at the last minute. Don't know of any that do open sessions but I'll try and find out.
David S Kapfhamer November 17, 2012 at 08:45 PM
To All: Teacher salaries are made public for all to view and you all wish to know every detail on the contract terms. I would assume that you also wish to know all terms and salary commitments on all principals, administrators from central office and the superintendent correct?
David S Kapfhamer November 17, 2012 at 08:47 PM
These I would assume are all paid by the tax payers such as myself and approved by the BOE.
DJP November 17, 2012 at 09:12 PM
@Thomas: With all due respect, your defeatist attitude of "vote them out in April"may have worked Pre Recession however, this way of thinking does not apply to our current economic situation. Without dragging out my children's Ouija Board, let's face facts. The Teachers stopped the "Lets have a show of hands students. Which parents support the teachers? And which parents support BOE?" tactics. Too, the I- heart- Geneva- Teacher yard signs have stopped popping up & the teachers no longer wear their union- fist- pumping- green-t-shirts, therefore, a reasonably intelligent person would conclude the GEA got what they demanded from the taxpayers. Interesting, the BOE can promise this group Fairy Dust and Gold Bars it does not mean they will receive it when the note is due. This contract will be repealed. We cannot afford it. We are broke!
Thomas November 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM
DJP, I don't know how promoting the idea of people practicing their rights as citizens to vote and run for elected office is a "defeatist attitude". If things are this bleak and people are being run out of Geneva in droves because of the crushing tax burden brought on by the Geneva school district then people like yourself or Bob M. or Gail Ryan or Rich Hayhurst or Sandra Ellis or Angela Kane should have absolutely no problem being elected to the school board and make the changes needed to save us all. If this BOE was promising the teachers "Fairy Dust" and "Gold Bars" this contract would have been agreed upon 10 months ago. I am guessing this was a better deal for the school board and the taxpayers then you probably would like to admit. Pick up your candidates packet now DJP the BOE election is only 5 months away.
G.Ryan November 18, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Thank you, Bob. Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!
Robert Jr. November 18, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Perhaps a movement that seeks to alter the governance policies so that Boards make recommendations on contract approvals, but a tax payer advisory board is established for final approval. Although- the selection process for the tax payer committee would turn into the same fiasco with factions trying to stack the committee just like they now do for the Board. The IEA creates campaigning kits to teach GEA members how to stack to board in their favor. They know that with a stacked board, contract approvals will be easy, and decisions will be legally binding. They are a political action committee, and not an educational resource for professional educators. I would start by reviewing PAC regulations to see if any were violated by the IEA. They also get political support from the NEA in order to stack boards across the country, and create a huge political machine that infiltrates all community governments to pursue the agenda of the NEA, IEA, and GEA. If the purpose of those institutions is higher education, and quality education, that can be good. If it is a PAC to create seniority bonuses, unsustainable pensions, and roadblocks to process management, then change is needed.Special interests prevent process change and waste tax dollars.
DJP November 18, 2012 at 02:15 PM
@Thomas: We should allow the fine homeowners of Geneva determine contracts because after all Thomas, we hold the purse strings.
Thomas November 18, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Robert Jr. I agree that selecting more committees to oversee other "elected committees" would not advance the process it would just increase the bureaucracy and red tape. In a town of less than 25,000 where, prior to a school board election, there are multiple candidate forums (some hosted by TaxFacts) and profiles of candidates in the newspaper and now on the Patch, I find it hard to believe that people could be unduly influenced by only one special interest group. If the "sleeping giant" is truly awake than any attempts by the IEA/GEA to "stack" the board will be for naught. If just "half" the people who regularly post on here were to run for the BOE (refer to above post) the anti-tax interests could control the board long into the future. I find it hard to believe the current board was "stacked" by the GEA because this last contract was "far from easy". I am sure the current BOE members on the negotiating team didn't volunteer hundreds of hours over the last 10 months in order to "give the impression" they were playing hardball just so they could cave at the midnight hour and give the GEA "fairy dust' and "gold bars". Still not too late to put your hat in the ring Robert Jr. 5 months to election day.
Thomas November 18, 2012 at 02:42 PM
DJP, They already do. It is called "school board elections" If the majority of Geneva citizens share your views then you will get what you wish.
DJP November 18, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Anyone on this thread who thinks the BOE is working in the best interest of taxpayers is absurd. This is just yet another government monopoly. By forming a BOE we have completely removed the taxpayer from the negotiation process. When our economy was relatively stable the small percentage of increases here and there did not impact our bottom line because we could afford to make these changes. Now we have teachers DEMANDING pay increases in the worst of economic times. This simply demonstrates they do not live in reality nor does the BOE who sanctions their demands. If you speak out against them we hear " YOU DONT CARE ABOUT THE KIDS". Remember, taxes will increase 3% ('13) coupled with the potential average homeowner increase of $340 AND UP, coupled with we can't afford to sell our depreciated homes. And if we are fortunate to sell we are faced with an added 3% Fed Tax to compensate for Obamacare. Wake up! Many of our neighbors are faced with a real financial crisis. One or both parents have lost their jobs or their benefits and compensation packages have been cut. These folks are too proud to come before the BOE and tell them WHY they don't want the increase to pass. The solution of "Well just VOTE THEM OUT" sickens me. By then the damage has been done. So now we have to wait three more years to rectify the contract? Really? Strike this process. Put these contracts up to vote before the people who have 100% stake in the game. It is OUR MONEY. IT IS OUR FUTURE!
Robert Jr. November 18, 2012 at 03:14 PM
This is how tax dollars are spent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL-a-r7iJIU&sns=fb
G.Ryan November 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM
DJP for President!...Thank you. You are totally correct. Our public schools have been polluted with a political bureaucracy. And the way these negotiations are conducted is a prime example. There are Board members who are currently on the Board who were supported by a Special Interest Group and donated to their cause. Now is that not a conflict of interest and bias? How is that injustice fair? This entire system is government regulated with taxpayers funds. The entire curriculum and system of funding are mandated by the government. Public education is government education. It is paid for with other people's money. Now let's not forget those politicians who get $$$ off the system from IEA. If this system was fair and nonbias, school personnel and special interest group supporting the GEA/IEA should not be eligible to vote in this election. Period.
G.Ryan November 18, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Good morning Robert Jr. I do like your idea of a taxpayer committee which would not be tainted by any special interest groups or union affiliates. Which could put a stop to taxation without representation which is not the theme these days. Where is "We the People"in this process? The election process has been tainted so how is this process fair? Voting them out is just another avenue for them to get just another one of their groupees in.
Thomas November 18, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I agree Gail. If DJP steps up to the plate and runs for the school board, with the power of the sleeping giant behind him he could easily be given the president's gavel. Your ringing endorsement, however, could wind up hurting him. I think most "rational" people would agree with your argument for "fiscal conservatism" but it often gets drowned out by your "Tea Party" bumper sticker rants and your constant barrage of conspiracy theories. As the most recent presidential election has shown,despite all the Koch brothers's money and Crossroads GPS cash, you will forever be relegated as a fringe party (Tea) if you don't moderate your rhetoric.
G.Ryan November 18, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Thomas, perhaps you could start off by identifying your real name? Why the secrecy? I have asked whether you even reside here in Geneva and you will not disclose. As a teacher, we already know who you supported in this election. Time will tell if reelecting your leader was beneficial to America's cause. I don't think or believe your rants about Tea Party has any correlation to this issue when taxpayers are learning this bureaucracy process which is broken.
Thomas November 18, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Gail,ieve Do you also take issue with DJP's identity? It would be hard to endorse someone for president by initials alone. How about Robert Jr.? You seem to like his ideas altough we dont know a last name? Why the double standard?
G.Ryan November 18, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Sir, I actually met Robert Jr. and they have attended the Board meetings so their identity is known. How come when I address and appoint this issue directly to you, you point to others? I am not speaking about DJP or Robert Jr., I am addressing your identity? Why is that so difficult?
Thomas November 18, 2012 at 07:01 PM
That's great that you have met those people personally, but I don't feel it is necessary for you to know my identity for the same reasons that you won't share DJP's or Robert Jr.'s identity to us right now.
G.Ryan November 18, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Sir Thomas, that is strictly up to them to disclose not me. I don't know why you don't feel it is necessary to not disclose your identity? I could tell you this both Robert Jr. and DJP both do their research. They both are listeners and don't pass judgements. You don't even know me but assume and label me a Tea Partyer when all I am is a concerned taxpayer who believes in having a fair and justice system without the pollution and corruption of our educational system. How does attacking and labeling me or others help find a solution to this issue Thomas?
Thomas November 18, 2012 at 07:25 PM
G. Ryan, See we "CAN" both agree on something. We should let ideas and discourse rule the day and not cloud them with prejudices that might come with identifying each other personally. Thank you for reaffirming my decisions.
G.Ryan November 18, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Agreed, Sir Thomas we need to stick to the ideas and issues. But be courtesy to others. Have a great and safe Thanksgiving to you and your family.
DJP November 18, 2012 at 10:19 PM
@GRyan: The special interest system of cronyism has to stop. We need to stand up for the principle of looking out for the taxpayers interests. Too, this community is not in a financial position to offer or guarantee teachers short or long term deals.
Victor Viking November 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM
You people really are nothing but a bunch of whiners. There is a process in how things things are done. The minute you don't like the outcome of something or think their is a conspiracy, you don't like the process. Better yet, when something doesn't go your way, you bash it. Grow up people. I'll bet a hundred bucks that all of you on here complaining about wanting more tax payer input are the same people who think it's wrong to keep score at your kid's soccer games cause it would be "harmful" to his ego if he or she lost. Or you call and complain the minute your kid gets a B in the honors class at school or they don't get a starting position on their travel basketball team. The process is via the vote. That's when you have your greatest say. Email and phone all you want while things are going on. If you are unhappy, vote them it and vote others in. But for heaven's sake, quit feeling like you are all entitled to have input in every matter. 25,000 plus people in this city. We do it your way, we get 25,000 different ideas on how to do things. Cut the Board some slack. You all sound like a bunch of teachers. The only one on here posting who sees the big picture is Bob. And if all you got for a comeback for me is "it's our money", sorry, that bird won't fly with me. Quit griping and run then or shut up about it. If the only thing you can do is sound negative then stop. I'd rather the community not be fertilized by the crap being posted on here.
DJP November 19, 2012 at 01:22 AM
@Victor: If it's not "our money" whose money is it? The BOE? The Teachers? The Governments? Help me out here. Apparently I whine & gripe too much to know the answer.
Victor Viking November 19, 2012 at 05:16 AM
DJP - The way I see it, once I pay my taxes, it's not my money anymore. I can ask them (the BOE, whoever) to spend how I would like them to spend it via calling my elected representative & voicing my concern that way. However, it's going to be spent by the controlling body of government in a way they see benefitting the most people they represent, or I would hope that's the way they would do it. If I don't agree with it I exercise my right to vote. That's my voice, that's the part I play. The problem as I see it after reading months of posts on the negotiations and the levy is that everyone is so negative about how they see things progressing that they feel entitled to being involved in all decisions regarding all matters. That's why we elect people to the Board of Education or other offices. Now, if you don't like what they are doing, use the greatest tool we have, the power of the vote. Wanna know the really sad part? Why has it taken so long for people to take notice now? Where was everyone when home prices were going up and people had good paying jobs and people weren't losing their homes? While I think it's great that there are some people like TAXFACTS out there keeping these governing bodies accountable, let's be real. Isn't it our job as the tax payers to be doing that? Shouldn't we all bear that responsibility?
David November 27, 2012 at 06:16 AM
The things I read on the patch about taxes remind me about our country in general. No control in spending whatsoever. Just raise the taxes because that is the easiest way to do it. Sad.


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