D181 teachers working without a contract
Last updated 10/16/2019 at 11:55pm | View PDF
Teachers packed the Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 Board meeting Monday in a show of unity. Negotiations between the teachers union and the board continue more than three months after the last teachers contract expired.
According to joint statement issued Wednesday, the two sides have met more than 17 times since late 2018 — including three sessions with an independent mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service — to hammer out a deal to replace the three-year agreement that ended June 30. Salary and benefits are reportedly among the sticking points in negotiations.
Stephanie Vercoe, co-president of the Hinsdale Clarendon Hills Teachers Association that represents the district’s 361 teachers, reminded the board Monday that union members have been working this school year without a contract.
“HCHTA has been actively bargaining with the school board and administration for almost a year,” Vercoe said, reading from a prepared statement. “The teachers started the school year carrying on District 181’s tradition of excellence despite not having a contract because our students matter.”
She said teachers work to inspire and encourage their pupils, helping them feel valued.
“We believe feeling valued is an important part of a strong and successful community,” Vercoe continued. “Much like a classroom community, the district is a professional community where all members matter. Settling a fair contract now matters.
“We are here tonight, unified in solidarity to reach a fair contract,” she stated.
The most recent contract, approved in late August 2016, provided average raises of 3 percent in the first two years and higher increases in year three. The salary range in 2018-19 was $52,285 to $142,950, according to the district.
The joint statement reported that teachers are receiving last year’s salary and benefits as negotiations continue.
“We have a shared commitment to work in good faith to negotiate a multi-year contract that serves the best interests of all District 181 stakeholders — our students, teachers and taxpayer community.”
Vercoe said the quicker a resolution is reached, the better for everyone.
“We urge the board of education to continue to work with the HCHTA to reach a settlement soon so we can focus on what matters most to all of us: our students,” she said.
The joint statement indicated mediation sessions are scheduled for Oct. 16 and 28 “to address the economic issues yet to be resolved, including salary and benefits.”
Updates on the status of negotiations will be communicated via email and on the district’s website, https://www.d181.org, according to the statement.