GENEVA — The Geneva Education Association (GEA) presented a contract offer to the Geneva School District 304 Board of Education during negotiations tonight with hope of avoiding a strike and reaching a tentative agreement.
“We are asking for what we’ve been asking for since our negotiations started months ago. A contract that both attracts new teachers and retains our experienced educators. Our offer does precisely that,” said GEA President Kevin Gannon. “We are requesting reasonable salary increases for all our teachers, and we know the district has the money in its budget to meet our requests.”
The GEA offer includes a traditional step and lane salary schedule. The GEA proposal narrows the gap between the board’s proposed 17 percent increase for new teachers and 1.2 percent for veteran teachers. The traditional step and lane salary schedule, which increases pay based on experience and advanced education, is used by all of the districts in Kane County.
“A traditional step and lane salary schedule is something that we know benefits our district and our students in the long run,” Gannon said. “We believe our offer ensures District 304 will have talented, quality educators who will be able to provide the best education possible for our students and value to our community. We hope the board recognizes this, so we can avoid a strike.”
The GEA represents 459 teachers in District 304’s nine schools and serves the district’s 5,800 students. The GEA and Geneva School District 304 have been in negotiations since February. GEA teachers have been working without a contract since Aug. 15. In September, GEA members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.
The next negotiating session between the board and GEA is on Mon., Dec.3 at 6 p.m. at Coultrap Educational Services Center (227 N. 4th St., Geneva). Also on Dec. 3, GEA is asking the community for their continued support at a rally scheduled for 5:15 p.m. at Coultrap. Unless a tentative agreement is reached, the GEA membership will strike on Tues., Dec. 4.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.