MENDOTA – On Tuesday, the Mendota Education Association (MEA) filed two unfair labor practices (ULP) with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) against Mendota Community Consolidated School District 289 (D289).
“We will not be intimidated,” MEA Co-Vice President Rachel Sabin said. “It’s sad it’s come to this. We would just like the district to bargain with us, like professionals, in good faith. We have a right to use our voice to advocate for our students.”
The attached ULPs [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] were filed on Tuesday and reference violations of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA). Both ULPs cite examples of “regressive” and “bad faith” bargaining by District 289 officials and representatives meant to “chill union activity.”
“We are asking the district to immediately stop all unreasonable behavior, so we can come to an agreement and get our students back in school,” Sabin said. “None of this is helping. We need them to focus on moving forward instead of trying to move us backward.”
MEA is made up of 76 elementary members and 39 high school teachers from School District 289. Only the elementary teachers from District 289 are on strike. The strike began on Wed., Oct. 16. Their contract expired on Aug. 14, and they’ve been negotiating with the D289 BOE since March. District 289 serves 1,170 students and has three schools.
The second bargaining session since the strike began is scheduled for 4 p.m. this evening.
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.