Tuesday, January 17, 2017

School strike averted in Quincy

The Quincy SD 172 Board of Education negotiates
with teacher and support union representatives Jan. 10.
Plans by Quincy SD 172 teachers and support personnel to go on strike on Tuesday, Jan. 17 were nixed, pending ratification of a tentative settlement reached over the weekend. No details have been released of the agreement, which was reportedly reached during four hours of talks on Saturday.

There has not been a teacher strike during the 2016-17 school year, although a total of 14 districts have been through the process of public posting of offers with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. Work stoppages were narrowly averted by contract agreements reached in Chicago Public Schools 299 on Oct. 11, 2016, and in Evanston/Skokie School District 65 on Dec. 2, 2016.

The last school strike in Illinois occurred April 1, 2016 in Chicago, involving the 27,000-member Chicago Teachers Union and the 400,000-student Chicago District 299. The one-day strike over teacher funds was also meant to call attention to the need for increased state funding.

The most recent posting involves the Byron Community School District 226 and the Byron Education Association. That notice was filed Jan. 10. The two sides are still meeting regularly in the Byron contract talks, with the next negotiating session set for next month. The complete list of such public postings can be viewed here.

Registration still open for school office staff event
Registration for SupportCon Springfield (previously known as the Educational Support Professionals Conference) is still open for school support staff seeking to further develop their job skills in today’s constantly changing educational environment. The Sep. 19 event will take place at the President Abraham Lincoln DoubleTree beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Listed among Support Con Springfield’s featured topics are: Maintaining the Board Policy Manual, Basics of the Open Meetings Act (OMA), and Diversity and Inclusion. A full day of professional development opportunities for educational support staff will kick off with opening remarks by Roger L. Eddy, IASB Executive Director.
The conference for school office staff will also include six morning and five afternoon hour-long breakout sessions, with three led by IASB presenters. One afternoon session will feature a diversity and inclusion presentation by Board Development Director Sandra Kwasa, and Trainer Nesa Brauer. A morning breakout session on the OMA will be led by General Counsel Kimberly Small; another early one, on policy manual maintenance, will be led by Policy Consultant Angie Powell.
IASB and Illinois ASBO are helping to sponsor the event, which caters to the range of work performed by support professionals. Besides the speakers from the association, legal and financial experts will be on hand to answer questions and guide discussion.
Registration for the event is available at the Illinois ASBO website.