An email to parents of District 155 students:
Today, the District 155 board of education submitted its final offer to the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB) for public display on its website.
As I am sure you are aware, we have been actively negotiating a new teachers’ contract since March and the teachers’ union has declared an impasse in these efforts and authorized a strike.
Despite these steps, both sides continue to negotiate, and we hope that the public display of both sides’ offers will help bring the negotiations to a satisfactory conclusion for all involved while averting a strike.
We are grateful to the many parents, community members, and alumni who have reached out to the board and administration regarding the negotiations.
From these correspondences and conversations, one thing is clear—whether you stand behind the teachers or with the board—virtually everyone we hear from thinks we have an incredible teaching staff and great schools.
We couldn’t agree more.
Our faculty is dedicated to our students, our community, and our mission.
Each member of the board of education is either a District 155 alumnus or the parent of District 155 alumni—some are both.
We have experienced our teachers’ excellent work firsthand and we know the difference that a dedicated teacher can have in a young person’s life.
This is precisely why we have volunteered to serve this district and community as board members for a combined 93 years.
Still, the board of education must balance the financial means of the community with our desire to attract and retain quality educators.
We have an obligation to both these distinct—and seemingly competing—stakeholder groups.
We continue to negotiate for a contract that will be fair to our teachers, our current and future students, and the taxpayers who support our efforts.
To help you understand the district’s position, we have added our IELRB proposal to the district website.
In addition to the proposal itself—a 5.01% increase to salaries and benefits over the course of the [three-year] contract—the IELRB submission includes comparison charts, important explanations and definitions, and other pertinent information.
We have also created a frequently asked questions section to help you understand the proposal, contract structure, financial background, and history.
We have heard a number of rumors about the negotiations and the board’s proposals.
It has always been the board’s philosophy to negotiate in partnership with the association to find a solution that provides financial stability. The frequently asked questions on our website address other rumors and facts.
We believe our offer to the union is fair to all stakeholders.
It calls for a 5.01% increase to salaries and benefits, but it also asks employees to pay a greater percentage of the employee Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) payment.
We urge you to review the information available on our website at www.d155.org/negotiations.
Dr. Gary Oberg