Reports: GEA Moving Forward With Unfair Labor Complaint

The Kane County Chronicle is reporting that the Geneva Education Association is moving forward with its complaint that the School Board used health benefits as a leverage prior to a possible teachers strike.

The Geneva Education Association is moving forward with the charge it filed with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board in November, saying teachers "still feel like they were treated wrongly," according to a report in the Kane County Chronicle.

The charge was filed on Nov. 10, when GEA President Carol Young issued a press release saying the board was trying to intimidate the teachers union from going on strike by telling teachers they would have to pay for their full health and dental insurance premiums for every day during a work stoppage.

The charge was filed with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, the state agency responsible for enforcing educational labor relations laws and regulations in Illinois.

According to the release published on the GEA website, the dispute arose Wednesday when teachers received letters from the School Board regarding the health and dental insurance premiums and other items that remain undecided because they are part of a continuing negotiations process.

"The letter represented an attempt to coerce and intimidate teachers into not exercising their lawful rights," the release said.

Many thought the complaint might be withdrawn after the Geneva Board of Education and GEA struck an 11th-hour deal at about 12:30 a.m. Nov. 12 that avoided a possible teachers strike.

The agreement was ratified by the GEA on Nov. 14 and approved by the Geneva School Board on Nov. 20.



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Jim J December 13, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Classy move, GEA. That's a few less dollars in the coffers FOR THE KIDS that will be spent fighting your inane ULC. Every single GEA member should be calling Ms. Young to scold her for this grand waste of time and money and ask her to let them know how to decertify this union. Jim J
Jack December 13, 2012 at 05:05 PM
That will not happen, though it should. GEA teachers have proven that they are easily cowed by their union reps, and that the respect of the community--about which they profess to be so concerned--is of little real importance to them.
Jen Marsh December 13, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Jen Marsh December 13, 2012 at 06:10 PM
In the Kane Co Chronicle: Although state labor officials and school district attorney Sarah Miller said it is common practice for an unfair labor charge to be withdrawn once a new contract is in place, the Geneva Education Association is pursuing it. “We did not negotiate regarding it,” teachers union President Carol Young said. “Teachers feel like they were treated wrongly, so we are moving forward with it.” Miller said she had been assured by attorneys for the Illinois Education Association and the National Education Association that the charge would be withdrawn. “The IEA and NEA assured us it would be dropped, and that was communicated to the board,” Miller said. “It is a surprise to us, too, now they are refusing to withdraw it.” Miller said the school board would file its response to the charge later this week.
Thomas December 13, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I applaud the state of Michigan for their most recent right to work legislation. Wake up Union's .....You are pricing yourself out of a job....The GEA told the School board they would retract their complaint during the final negotiation. Carol Young should be ashamed of her self.
Lisa P December 13, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Really shocking. When did you say you were retiring Ms. Young?
DM December 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Just when it seems the community can begin healing, Young & Co. picks off the scab and pours some salt in the wound. Unbelievable
Cobo December 13, 2012 at 10:43 PM
On the other hand, as we start to move into the School Board election process, maybe it's a good thing if 'Teachers Behaving Badly Part II' keeps reminding the community how important it has to elect board members who can stand up to the GEA
Larry Bittner December 13, 2012 at 11:00 PM
The GEA has had the same work rules that Michigan just enacted. You could say the Michigan legislature voted to have the same rules the GEA now have. No teacher is required to be a part of the union as a condition of their employment and any teacher can leave at any time. Over 90% are still in the union.
Larry Bittner December 13, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Or maybe school board members who don't break the law.
Larry Bittner December 13, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Respect from the Geneva community is one thing. Respect from the Patch community is something entirely different. Do not make the mistake of thinking they are one and the same.
Larry Bittner December 13, 2012 at 11:05 PM
The school attorney is paid regardless of whether they are actively working or not and their pay does not come out of the monies used to educate children. Your levy is still going up and you will still be paying more to the school district in order to abate that money back to pay for the debt service that YOUR community voted to take on. Nothing about this complaint can change that in any way.
Cobo December 14, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Larry, I guess we'll just have to wait until the school board election to see what the community of Geneva thinks of the GEA and their tactics. I think "No More Mr. Nice Guy" could be a winning slogan
Jen Marsh December 14, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Robert Jr. December 14, 2012 at 02:43 AM
They (GEA) has nothing to lose. The current laws do not protect the interests of tax payers or communities. The GEA knows it and is using this to their advantage. The cost to actually file a complaint and lawsuit is minimal. The union has no fear. There is absolutely nothing Geneva can do, and the GEA will win hands down - it is a landslide victory for Carol Young and her strong leadership ... unless this becomes a national issue where the facts are exposed and then there might be national interest in looking at the competitive right to work for the teachers who are currently looking for work and the forces that prevent that from taking pace. It seems this is an issue of national significance, and not just a local issue for Geneva.
A Dad December 14, 2012 at 04:29 AM
I think you have hit it on the head, Robert. The deck is stacked against the families and taxpayers. The Union leaders, who are close to retirement, don't have to worry if they leave scorched earth behind - the name of the game is get as much as you can, while you can. The teachers who are looking at a 10-20 year horizon before they retire would probably be well-advised to take a stand against these tactics that may yield short-term benefits for the old guard, but will probably destroy the profession in the long term.
Cathy Ostrowski December 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Also from that KC Chronicle article: "John Brosnan, special counsel to the labor board, said the investigation is still in its early stages. Brosnan said the process of investigating the charge could result in having both sides sit down with a mediator and talk things through. 'What might seem like a bad thing to the party filing the charge – once you winnow through the thing – what are you going to get at the end of the day, is they [school board members] might have to post something saying they violated the act,' Brosnan said.'That is going to cost you money, and there is going to be some sacrificing of the collective bargaining relationship between the parties.' " So they are rubbing salt in our wounds in order to get what, billboards stating that they were wronged? The majority of Geneva residents already have their own opinions about the negotiations and won't be swayed by any required postings. These teachers don't allow our kindergarteners, much less older students to whine and pout, why should they feel it is okay for them? Absolutely sickening!!!
craig December 14, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Got to hand it to the teachers though. They're still sticking to their policy of "Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity to get the community on their side!"
David December 14, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Just a question. I a teacher were laid off in June. Would that same teacher have to be rehired in August.
Mitch Dinges December 15, 2012 at 12:44 AM
This is all about posturing themselves to solidify the union and make up for any lost ground. It has nothing to do with an unfair practice but has everything to do with "time to get even and beyond" and keep a union on life support. It sickens me the GEA can't man-up, put it behind them and move-on. Bring on "Right To Work" in Illinois is next. And kiss that $223 Billion unfunded bankrupt pension program good-bye.
Jack December 15, 2012 at 07:59 AM
This is beginning to go beyond the GEA/IEA/NEA game-playing that one has to expect from unions. It is time to hold our teachers responsible for this reprehensible behavior. If this is the kind of "representation" that D-304 teachers want, then they should expect to be held responsible individually -- both publicly and privately. When you encounter a teacher let her or him know, respectfully of course, that there is far more to be lost than to be gained by such a course of action. Union reps come and go, but most teachers hope to have full careers. Tax-paying residents for the most part are long-term players here, too -- and we will not forget.
Jen Marsh December 15, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Talking to a teacher, especially if your child is a student in D304, is akin to political suicide. If a parent wants to be given a cold shoulder, snarky comments,terse phone interactions...then, go right on ahead. Otherwise, parents of students know to stay focused on a the mature mindset of "agreeing to disagree". Sharing the same opinion is unlikely. The power of the vote is the way to make one's voice heard. And, being an informed taxpayer by attending BOE meetings,etc. I will not let this become personal.
Cathy Ostrowski December 18, 2012 at 05:05 AM
So true Jen Marsh! What a great lesson to teach my kids about different kinds of bullies!
Jack February 09, 2013 at 06:05 AM
So, Cathy, it appears that both you and Jen have the expectation that teachers will bully parents, through their children as well as directly, if the parent should offer an opinion contrary to that of the GEA. This speaks volumes about the kind of people that GEA have become in following the IEA.
Jen Marsh February 09, 2013 at 03:21 PM
We are all biased creatures and capable of being selfish, for our own interests. I have come to realize that speaking up for what you believe is essential to society, on a whole. How you persuade others to come around to your ideals is the biggest skill one can possess, in these scenarios. Being unkind creates distrust...after all, when will the winds change and blow in your direction? Anyone who uses strong arm tactics has some personality issues. The simple fact that teachers did not get every demand met speaks to the failure in negotiations. The GEA's claims of feeling that they were treated poorly is based on a perspective of not getting what you want. I deal with this behavior every day with my children, to which I say "Life is full of disappointments". Get up and roll with it...unless you want to be left behind. We sold our house in Michigan at a tremendous loss, in 2010. We were responsible and fortunate to have our finances in order and qualified for a 30 yr mortgage. Finding an affordable home in Geneva was a huge relief, after the financial disaster in Michigan. Had we not been fiscally mindful, we would be renting somewhere.
Jen Marsh February 09, 2013 at 03:24 PM
My point is that these are extraordinary times. There is one foreclosure home on my block and another home that has been on the market for over a year. We must be mindful of fiscal matters. Ignoring it will not make it go away. The every man for himself mentality will not work...when the real estate balloon popped, so went the fast,easy money. Now we are all paying for the greedy grabbers risky finances. It is what it is. The market is what it is today...not yesterday. You must make choices based on the present.


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