Geneva School Board, GEA Will Meet Again Thursday

An eight-hour negotiating session doesn't come up with a tentative contract agreement, but both sides will meet again in hopes of an 11th-hour settlement prior to a possible Nov. 9 teachers strike.

For Genevans hoping and praying for a settlement prior to a Friday teachers-strike deadline, the initial news from Tuesday's negotiating session was mixed and a little sketchy.

School District 304 issued a press release and sent an email via 304 Connects informing the community that the Board of Education and the Geneva Education Association continued negotiations Tuesday evening with the help of a federal mediator.

"Proposals were exchanged, and both parties agreed to meet again on Thursday, Nov. 8," the release said.

As of 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, the GEA had not issued a press release regarding the issue or posted one on its website, gea4students.com.

Following the Oct. 26 negotiations session, the School Board and GEA released details and explanations of their respective offers to the public. Today's press release said updates on the negotiations process and strike planning will continue to be posted on the board’s negotiations webpage.

"The board remains committed to negotiating an agreement that is good for students, fair to teachers and fiscally responsible," the School Board's press release says.

The press release said the board and administration continue to plan for a potential strike, which could occur as early as Friday, Nov.  9, or anytime after.


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EnoughAlready November 09, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Part 3 So to say a teacher will lose $50,000 over the course of a career is not pulling on my heartstrings because what the teachers GAIN is so much greater. The sheer blessing of being able to teach in a district that is crime free, stress free, affluent, with tremendous physical resources, support staff, dedicated PTO, and more parent volunteers they could ever want or need is priceless. I am SO tired of the teachers of Geneva talking about how they cannot attract high quality candidate without a pay increase and how they cannot compete without a step and lane union run system is ridiculous. I don't think a portion of our pampered Geneva teachers could survive a week in a lesser district because they have become too entitled. I don't see a long line of job openings in any district so it is easier to pretend the grass is greener somewhere else, until you realize somehwere else doesn't exist. I do see a long line at the unemployment office though...so maybe they should taste the real world and see how quickly their job replacements take the positions and work hard with gratitude to be teaching in Geneva.
t November 09, 2012 at 02:17 PM
@Enough - Thank you so much for spelling it out as someone with experience. I have to say, as a working parent who takes vacation days out of my paltry private-sector allotment to perform volunteer activities with the PTO because I care about our schools, students and teachers, the demands of the GEA feel like a kick in the face. Sadly, it's the teachers who are required to teach in the circumstances you describe in Part 2 who are probably sorely underpaid.
Beth Ward November 09, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Rick, you point out the exact issues which have created the perfect storm for the IEA. If Geneva teachers strike and fall into the crosshairs of the media, a huge audience will be watching our teachers... who are at the very apex of the educational food chain. The salaries/benefits/perks will be exposed to people who've never even heard of 100K for a PE teacher, let alone pension spiking, etc. Think our outrage has been harsh here in Geneva? The rest of the country will gobble this up. Also, I have to reiterate that peer evaluations have to be key in a merit-based system. I taught at Francis Parker in Chicago...every teacher had release time to visit/peer teach in other classrooms. A visitors desk was at the back of each classroom as well. Anyone was welcome and encouraged to sit in on any class and write comments...which were then read aloud at evaluations. I had the children of aldermen, ambassadors, professors of education in my class, and had all of their parents visit at one time. The collaborative atmosphere in the building was phenomenal. I still have the ligature marks on my neck from my next job, in a public school. The union had us all by the throat. Maybe that's why I feel so strongly here...the teachers who don't agree with this union have no voice. That is tragic, Arron Lee.
Sue J November 09, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I think that the reason why we have a grade school gym teacher and driver's ed teacher making over a 100K is because we are a community unit school district. Can someone verify that for me? So under that classification teachers are paid on their years in and education level attained not paid based on the demands on the subject. Maybe this is something that the BOE needs to look into.
Silence Dogood November 09, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Gosh, Edward, I'm SO sorry, I wasn't assuming anything, I was inferring....but hey, if that's how you choose to see it, then we'll just have to agree to disagree, and I will reluctantly acknowledge you may be half right.


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