Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Intent-to-strike notice filed in one district

Labor unrest has been mostly absent from Illinois schools in early 2019, with teacher contract settlements reached in several districts, but the threat of a strike looms large in at least one district, Warren THSD 121, Gurnee.

Intent-to-strike notice forms were filed by the District 121 teachers organization on February 27 after the 350-member union voted 99.7 percent in favor of the action. A recent meeting with a federal mediator, however, led to good progress, according to both sides in the negotiations. Board President Tom Drake said the board's bargaining team remains hopeful that an agreement will be reached.

The earliest possible strike date would be March 13. The teachers’ group and the district have been negotiating a new deal for six months without a contract, and have held at least eight meetings with a federal mediator. Superintendent John Algrim said the two sides have made considerable progress, particularly in those eight sessions.

"Substantial progress has been made on salary, health care, and retirement benefits, which are the most significant issues," Algrim told the Daily Herald in comments published on February 27.

More detailed information is available from the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB), which collects public postings for education-related final offers. Current IELRB postings can be accessed here.

UPDATE: The Daily Herald reported on March 14 that a tentative agreement between Warren THSD 121 and its teachers union had been reached.