District 180 contract talks break off
The latest effort to strike a deal for District 180 teachers ended abruptly Thursday without a contract.
“It’s highly disappointing to the members,” said Lynn Moynihan, president of the Teachers’ Organization of Palisades, which represents teachers at Anne M. Jeans Elementary and Burr Ridge Middle schools.
Moynihan said about two-thirds of the union’s members attended Thursday’s mediation, hopeful that a new deal would be reached. Teachers in District 180 have worked without a contract since Sept. 1.
Superintendent Tom Schneider, who represented the School Board at the mediation session, posted a statement on the school’s website just minutes after the negotiations were suspended at about 7 p.m., three hours after they began.
“At the April 26th teacher contract negotiations, the (Community Consolidated School District) 180 Board of Education, with the assistance of a federal mediator, submitted a package proposal that contained only items upon which the parties had previously agreed,” the statement reads. “The Board of Education was hopeful that a package containing only those items which had been agreed upon for months would elicit a much-needed breakthrough in the negotiations.
“Unfortunately, the teacher’s association refused to accept this agreement, and chose not to provide a counter proposal. The Board of Education believes that this action demonstrates that the teachers are not committed to reaching an agreement on the contract and have been insincere in their approach to negotiations. As a result, the Board of Education suspended the mediation session.”
“We took three items that were previously agreed to,” Schneider said, including language concerning insurance and retirement. “They rejected it without counter.”
The teacher union’s Moynihan said the teachers were ready and willing to negotiate.
“(Schneider) walked away. We were ready to stay here all night,” said Moynihan, who said the conditions of the district’s latest proposal were not previously agreed upon.
“We wouldn’t be discussing them if they were already agreed upon,” she said.
The two parties continue to disagree on several issues, including salary increases and the length of the school day.
The School Board will meet Monday to decide whether to continue negotiations. If not, the union has filed a notice of intent to strike.