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District 158, Teachers Union Working Amicably on New Contract

Union members reject negotiated contract but head of union doesn’t anticipate a strike.

Consolidated School District 158 and the Huntley Education Association will be starting up negotiations again but both sides have been working amicably so a strike is not anticipated, the union’s president said Thursday.

Negotiating teams from both sides reached a tentative agreement on Sept. 5 for a new contract but union membership rejected the contract.

The HEA has approximately 625 members including teachers, social workers, speech pathologist and other certified District 158 staff.

Teachers and certified staff have been working without a contract since June 30, said Julie McLaughlin, President of HEA.

No meeting is set but she hopes to have one set by next week, she said. “We hope to have this resolved soon,” she said.

“The district and (HEA) are defiantly working together amicably. It’s very cordial,” she said.

Unlike the Chicago Teachers Union, which has been very public about what it's members want, the HEA is not discussing the nature of the negotiations. McLaughlin declined to comment about the details of the negotiations or what were the sticking points for the membership.

“There are a few points we would rather not discuss that we’d like to keep at the table,” McLaughlin said.

HEA members went on strike in 2008. Their last contract was for a year and the HEA took a “hard freeze,” she said. This time around, the union is hoping for a multi-year contract, she said.

“I’m very positive this will all work out soon,” she said.

John Dill September 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Teachers need to understnd the financial constraints of our local taxpayers. As a homeowner and taxpayer, I am just about tapped out after paying my extremely high real estate taxes and the many other taxes imposed on us. How about some consideration for the people paying your salaries?
Dominick September 14, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Dear John, I am also a Huntley resident. I am also tapped. District 158 is doing very well financially. The district has enough money to do what it needs to do. District 158 operates debt free. I am very proud to live in a district that is wise enough to stay out of debt. Did you know that it can cost around $800/month for a teacher to provide health insurance for a family? The district doesnt need to tax the property owners more. They just need to figure out how to work harder to move things around & make everything work correctly.

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