BENSENVILLE – A spokesperson from the Fenton Education Association (Fenton EA) will make a statement at tonight’s Fenton Community High School (FCHS) District 100 Board of Education (BOE) meeting regarding the decision to enter federal mediation in hope of reaching a fair contract.
The following statement is attributable to Fenton EA President Patrick Escobedo:
“We welcome the opportunity to use the mediation process to get a fair contract in place before the start of the school year.
It’s important the community and the BOE understand the timeline and the urgency behind coming to an agreement as soon as possible. We’ve filed notice with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, so they are aware: We are fewer than 45 days away from our contract expiring. If we don’t reach an agreement soon, Fenton teachers will be working without a contract when school starts this fall.
We also want to make note of what’s happening, or rather what isn’t happening, at the bargaining table. Of the 19 Fenton EA proposals put forward, 11 (58 percent) were rejected without a counter proposal from the board. Keep in mind, we have not rejected a single BOE proposal without making a counteroffer because we take bargaining seriously and want to reach a fair agreement as soon as possible.
At issue at the table are things directly tied to our students’ education, like preserving the Bison Orange program, which helps students who are behind in school, class sizes and empowering Fenton educators to play a key role in the policy and procedure decisions that impact students. We’re also asking to be fairly compensated for the good, hard work we do every day. We’ve done the math; we know the district has the funds to meet our request without raising taxes. It’s the right thing to do for our schools and our students.”
Fenton EA represents the 113 teachers, counselors, clinicians and other educational professionals serving the nearly 1500 students in FCHS District 100.
Tonight’s board meeting is at 7 p.m. at Fenton High School (1000 W. Green St., Bensenville) Fenton EA has been negotiating with the BOE since February. The next mediation session is set for Aug. 1. The current contract expires on Aug. 13, which is the day before school starts this fall.
At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.