UPDATE: Geneva School Board, Teachers Union Make New Offers

UPDATE: Geneva School Board, Teachers Union Make New Offers

  • UPDATED 4PM THURSDAY, OCT. 25, 2018.

The Geneva 304 Board of Education said Wednesday (Oct. 23, 2018) that the board and the Geneva Education Association each have made changes in their offers, hoping to avoid a teachers strike that could happen as soon as Nov. 13.

The GEA represents the district’s approximately 450 certified teachers.

According to a Wednesday news release, School District 304 board members met with GEA members for three hours under the guidance of an independent mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Prior to the Tuesday night session, the board presented GEA a proposal that increased its salary offer from $1,800 to $2,050 annually or $6,150 for every teacher over the course of a three-year contract.

Additionally, the proposal includes starting teacher salaries above what the GEA last proposed. The board also offered an increase of 3 percent for each level of educational attainment for teachers earning post-graduate credit hours or degrees.

According to the District 304 news release, the union presented a proposal that lowered their requested annual salary increase by one-quarter percent to 5.75 percent for the first two years of the contract, remaining at 6 percent for the third-year.

The GEA maintained its request for an increase of 5 percent for educational attainment.

School officials said the GEA has continued to request that the board increase its contribution in health care benefits from 95 percent to 100 percent for single coverage and from 60 percent to a range of 65 percent to75 percent for family/dependent coverage over the life of the contract.

The union continued to request a salary schedule similar to the structure which both parties had agreed to eliminate as part of the last contract agreement.

School District 304 submitted the offer to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, and the offer is posted on the district website.

“The board will continue to provide proactive and timely updates on our offers and the status of negotiations in the spirit of transparency and fiscal responsibility,” the news release said.

The organizations have an additional session scheduled for Oct. 30.

GEA members voted overwhelmingly Sept. 30 to authorize a strike, according to a news release posted on the Illinois Education Association website.

“A strike is the last thing we want and we are continuing to do everything in our power to avoid that possibility,” said Kevin Gannon, president of the GEA. “The GEA is simply trying to attract and retain quality teachers to serve our students and maintain the standard of excellence we now provide to the students in Geneva.”

Because of a delay in the public posting of current offers, the earliest date on which the GEA could strike is Nov. 13, according to a School District 304 news release.

FEATURE PHOTO CAPTION: Screenshot from GEA Twitter page.

SOURCE: School District 304, GEA websites