Negotiations Update

December 13, 2018

Negotiations Update—An Important Message from the Board of Education

Since April, the Board of Education and the Center Cass Education Association (CCEA), the union that represents our District’s approximately 85 teachers, have been meeting to negotiate a mutually acceptable and fiscally responsible multiyear contract agreement.

Most recently, and at the CCEA’s request, we agreed to engage an independent mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to assist us in negotiations.

On Monday, December 10th, the Board and the CCEA met with the mediator for approximately four-and-a-half hours. It was a productive discussion during which the Board and the CCEA shared perspectives on the outstanding issues we are seeking to resolve.

We have two additional mediation sessions scheduled for January 15th and February 4th. These dates were selected based on the shared availabilities of the CCEA, the Board and the federal mediator. As schedules allow, the Board is available to meet with the CCEA prior to these next scheduled sessions, with or without the federal mediator, in an effort to keep negotiations moving forward.

In exploring a new compensation model as part of these negotiations, the Board’s goals are as follows:

  • Encourage, support and reward both the work and professional growth of teachers, while operating within the financial means of the District. Under the Board's proposal, a portion of teacher compensation would be related to achieving annual professional growth goals. The Board has not proposed directly tying this portion of compensation, in any way, to student performance, including test scores or grades. The Board and the Administration firmly believe that expanding the professional capability of our teachers is the key to improving educational outcomes for students.

  • Reward teachers who seek to study and/or implement innovative teaching approaches that can further improve student learning. The Board’s proposal is not designed to create competition, but rather, to encourage further collaboration among teachers as they work individually or in groups to expand their professional capacity. The Board’s proposal does not place limitations on the exploration or implementation of innovative approaches that are aligned with the District's goals. There is also no cap on the number of teachers eligible for this additional compensation and no “pot of money” that teachers would be competing for.

Since the completion of the previous contract, the Board has recognized that exploring a new compensation model in a thoughtful and meaningful way would require significant discussion with the CCEA. On August 7th, in an effort to demonstrate the Board’s good faith and interest in working with teachers through this process, the Board offered to provide all teachers a Consumer Price Index (CPI) raise of 2.4 percent effective the first day of the 2018-2019 school year and committed that any additional compensation negotiated during bargaining would be retroactive to the beginning of the school year. The CCEA rejected this offer.

It is important to emphasize the Board strongly believes in and respects our teachers. We are proud of the fact that for the last three years, while maintaining our high educational standards, the District has a 94 percent teacher retention rate—the highest among surrounding districts, according to the Illinois Report Card.

The Board is committed to the mediation process and is hopeful that under the guidance of the impartial federal mediator we will be able to achieve an agreement that is in the best interest of all District 66 stakeholders—including our students, teachers and staff, parents and community.

Previous Board Updates

Dec. 11, 2018 update

Dec. 6, 2018 update

Nov. 13, 2018 update