VIENNA – In a groundbreaking agreement, the Vienna Grade School Education Association and the school board have agreed to create a “more positive and supportive relationship” between teachers, the administration and the board.
The agreement stems from an Unfair Labor Practice charge filed by the association in July of 2017 after two new assistant principal positions were created within the district.
The agreement, reached Friday, establishes several new practices, including all board members after they are sworn in on Apr. 2, the superintendent, principal and seven teachers attending and participating in joint labor-management training and a minimum of once-a-month meetings of an active labor-management committee to foster open communication on school, professional development and contractual concerns.
“We’re trying to create a more positive and supportive relationship between us, and the board and the administration, as well. That’s what the teachers want. We want a good and healthy work environment because we know that our work environment is our students’ learning environment and ultimately, a good relationship amongst all of us benefits our kids and local taxpayers,” said Kerry Denny, president of the Vienna Grade School Education Association.
In reaching the agreement, the association agreed to drop the unfair labor practice charge, which could save the district a minimum of $35,000. The board and association also agreed to attend training on Interest Based Bargaining for the purpose of negotiating the next contract. The board neither admitted nor denied it violated the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act.
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.