A summary (PDF) of ongoing negotiations in Evergreen Park District 124, posted by the district on its official website, suggests teachers in the district may be headed for a strike. As of this writing, no final offers have been published by the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, and a 14-day cooling off period would be mandatory between the publication date and the first day of any strike.
The summary of the negotiations on Sept. 6 says this:
The Union voted to authorize a strike on Tuesday, September 4, 2012. This was done before the Board and Union exchanged final offers which are due by the end of today. The law states that a strike cannot occur until 14 days have passed after publication of the final offers. … If an agreement is not reached, the final offers can be published by the IELRB on September 13 (but may not occur until the morning of the 14th). That would mean that September 28th would be the first possible day of a strike.
Then, in the summary of the Sept. 10 meeting, the board writes this:
The parties exchanged final offers electronically on Thursday, September 6th as required by law. In an attempt to move towards settlement, the Board increased its final offer in all three areas: Salary, Insurance and Retirement. Conversely and unfortunately, the Union’s final offer is unchanged from August.
In anticipation of continuing the negotiations process, the Board expected a reply, or at the least a counter offer from the Union at tonight’s meeting. The Union’s response, conveyed through the mediators, was that its offer was firm and that the Union would not respond further tonight. Thus the meeting ended after 1½ hours. The Union did not offer to meet before the next scheduled meeting date of September 24th.
District 124, based in Evergreen Park, Ill., includes five schools: Central Junior High School and four elementary schools: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest schools. The combined enrollment, reported on the district’s 2011 school report card, is 1,818. On that same report card, the district reportedly had 135 teachers, 87 percent of whom have a master’s degree or higher, compared to a statewide average of about 60 percent of teachers who have a master’s degree or higher.