Negotiations Update Dec. 6, 2018

As you may be aware, since April, the Center Cass School District 66 Board of Education has been meeting with the Center Cass Education Association, the union that represents our approximately 85 teachers, to negotiate a fair and fiscally responsible multi-year contract agreement that addresses the needs of all District 66 stakeholders—including our students, teachers and staff, parents and community. While the District’s most recent contract with the union expired on June 30, our teachers are still working under the terms of that agreement. 

At the union’s request, we have mutually agreed to engage the support of an impartial and independent mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to help guide our negotiations moving forward. Our first session with the mediator is scheduled for Monday, December 10. The Board is entering the mediation process in good faith and with an open mind. Therefore, for the time being, the Board has decided to defer a public presentation of our most recent proposal to the union. We are hopeful that mediation will allow us to reach agreement in a timely manner. 

It is important to emphasize that the Board strongly believes in, values and respects our teachers. We encourage and support their professional growth as educators, and we are committed to achieving a contract agreement that ensures they are compensated in a manner that promotes their growth in professional capacity, while being affordable and sustainable for our community. 

Over the last two years and based on an agreement the Board and the union reached in our previous contract, we have been working collaboratively with a committee of teachers, Board members and administrators to develop a compensation structure that better aligns with our strategic plan and encourages innovative, teacher-driven professional development. We anticipate that teacher compensation will be the focus of the mediation process. 

Moving forward, as appropriate, we will continue to share information on the status of our negotiating sessions with the mediator through the District’s website, email and social media channels. Please show your support of District 66 schools and students by continuing to call upon both the Board and the union to keep talking and to work in good faith to achieve a fair and fiscally responsible contract agreement.