Thursday, December 6, 2018

Geneva teacher strike the first this year

The first teacher strike in Illinois in over a year began on December 3 at Geneva CUSD 304. The work action involves 458 teachers, and leaves approximately 5,800 students out of the classroom.

The district stated in October that it has offered teachers raises of more than $2,000 a year for the next three years. The board said the union wants still-higher pay increases and is demanding that the district pay an increased percentage of health insurance premiums.

The union issued its intent-to-strike notice on October 2, following a meeting with a federal mediator, one of at least seven such mediation sessions.

The most recent Illinois school strike occurred in Palatine CCSD 15, where members of the Education Support Personnel Association union went on strike on October 15, 2017. That action involved school nurses, special education classroom aides, and school secretaries. Schools remained open, however, and a federal judge ordered the employees considered “essential” – nurses and some aides – back to work, and all workers went back to work just prior to an agreement being reached on October 29, 2017.

Illinois has recorded only 21 school strikes since 2010, with eight of those occurring in 2012, and four occurring in 2016.

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