Teachers in D300 file intent to strike
By Emily McFarlan Miller firstname.lastname@example.org November 20, 2012 9:06PM
Updated: December 22, 2012 6:37AM
CARPENTERSVILLE — Teachers in Community Unit School District 300 filed a notice of intent to strike Tuesday, according to a statement from Superintendent Michael Bregy posted to the district’s website.
Also, District 300 announced its plan to keep open several schools in the state’s sixth-largest school district if its teachers do decide to strike, according to Bregy’s statement.
That comes “despite both sides’ considerable efforts to reach agreement,” Bregy said.
And it comes about two weeks after Local Educators Association of District 300 declared an impasse in the nearly year-long negotiations between the teachers union and the Carpentersville-based district.
Despite the intent-to-strike notice, the earliest teachers could walk out of district schools is the first week in December.
That’s because Illinois Senate Bill 7, signed into law this summer by Gov. Pat Quinn, requires a 14-day waiting period from the time both the teachers union’s and district’s final offers have been posted to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board website.
By Tuesday night, the labor relations board had posted both offers online at www2.illinois.gov/elrb/Pages/FinalOffers.aspx.
The school board has offered a modest pay raise that includes step increases for time spent within the district, decreased class sizes at the elementary school level, and phasing out pay bumps for teachers in the last four years before their retirement. Meantime, the union has proposed a modest pay raise on top of step increases, decreased class sizes at all grade levels and decreased pay bumps before retirement.
“The District 300 Board of Education and Administration recognize that many families may face hardship if schools are closed due to a teachers’ strike,” Bregy said.
That’s why if teachers strike, the district plans to keep several schools open as “attendance centers on an emergency basis” with the help of its community partners, according to his statement.
Those centers would provide “safe and supervised options” but no regular instructional activities for students in kindergarten through grade six whose families have no other child care options available during a strike, it said. But they may cap the number of students who will be accepted at each center because staffing will be limited, it said.
There still would be no transportation (including parochial school transportation), classes, school-sponsored events or activities, practices or competitions, the statement said. All after-school community activities and programs at schools, programs or other centers also would be cancelled, it said.
Still, Bregy said, “It is our sincere hope that a strike will be averted.”
“We are fortunate to have a caring, competent and highly qualified staff. Throughout teacher union negotiations, the District 300 Board of Education has been and continues to be committed to fairly compensate LEAD 300 membership while honoring the board’s commitment to live within its revenue stream and ensure the long-term viability of the district’s programs for students.”
More detailed information about emergency attendance centers will be posted soon on d300.org, according to the statement.