No Deal Reached in U-46 U-46 Contract Talks Go to Mediation
Byline: Emily Krone
After 15 hours at the bargaining table Tuesday, Elgin Area School District U-46 officials and union leaders failed to reach a tentative contract deal for teachers, union officials said Wednesday.
Both sides now are scheduled to meet with a federal mediator Dec. 6 and Dec. 11 to try to resolve the issue.
The district's 2,400 teachers have been working under the terms of an expired contract since the beginning of the school year.
A narrow majority of them rejected a tentative three-year agreement in October.
The deal that members opposed, by a vote of 1,183 to 1,125, called for average raises of 6.1 percent in the first year of the contract and average raises of between 4.4 percent and 5.7 percent, determined by the rate of inflation, in the second and third years of the contract.
But in a recent survey, teachers who rejected the deal said their main problem with the contract wasn't the salary provision.
The teachers overwhelmingly listed large class sizes and case loads - and the deal's failure to address those concerns - as the primary factors influencing their vote.
The deal would have provided two teacher aides at each high school and one aide at each middle school to relieve excessive class sizes, a fix that teachers called inadequate. …