D300 teachers to vote on contract Wednesday
By Emily McFarlan Miller firstname.lastname@example.org December 17, 2012 5:38PM
Updated: January 19, 2013 6:12AM
CARPENTERSVILLE — Local Education Association of District 300 leadership shared with its members Sunday the tentative agreement it reached with the Community Unit School District 300 Board of Education after a one-day teachers strike earlier this month.
And with that information, all 1,200 members of the teachers union now will vote on that contract Wednesday.
But LEAD spokesman Mike Williamson said he can’t predict from that meeting how the vote will go.
That’s because, Williamson said, “We were basically just presenting it.”
“We make a point out of presenting exactly what it is and then making sure our members know it’s important for them to vote their conscience,” he said,
The teachers union and school board had reached a tentative agreement on “the piece that was necessary to make sure we were on the same page with class sizes and salary” just before 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, the union spokesman said.
That came after teachers had walked out that morning, reportedly over those two issues, at 26 district schools. About 900 teachers had marched outside the District 300 Central Offices and several schools, chanting and carrying signs and wearing black “We LEAD 300” T shirts, during the biggest demonstration that day.
After calling off the strike, Williamson said both sides continued discussions into early the next morning, then again all day that Friday “to work out the remainder of the language.” That language went back and forth by email all last week, “just to make sure that’s what everybody meant,” he said.
And after all that, he said, “There are some very positive points I think came out of these contract negotiations.”
“I think we feel that we resolved this in a way that got us many of the items we were looking for and hopefully will allow us to create a more amiable and functional relationship with the board and district’s administration and ourselves,” he said.
Both LEAD and the board of education have agreed not to share details of that contract until after it has been voted on by both the union and board.
Board spokesman Joe Stevens has declined to comment since issuing a statement confirming the end of the strike. But Williamson said he thought the school board planned to take its vote on the contract as soon as Thursday if it is approved by teachers Wednesday.
“No matter which way that vote goes on Wednesday, we’re going to move forward,” Williamson said.