Negotiating teams for Prairie Grove School District 46 and the teachers' union will meet again Thursday in an effort to find a resolution to the ongoing contract dispute.
However, the PGTA negotiating team will sit down with district officials this Thursday, Sept. 6, in hopes of finding a resolution before initiating a strike date.
"While we did take a strike authorization vote on (Aug.) 21st, we have not set a strike date and are still interested in doing everything we can to avoid a strike," The PGTA Negotiating Team said.
"We continue to approach every negotiations session with the hope that a mutually agreeable resolution can be reached."
The PGTA negotiating team stated non-resolved topics are primarily financial: salary, extra duty assignments and pay, insurance and the impact of the board's decision to delete the retirement enhancement payment.
"We also have to address the language changes due to the recent PERA laws, which pertain to teacher evaluation and teacher tenure laws," PGTA representatives said.
The teachers union representatives said they continued to negotiate throughout this past summer "even after the Board of Education imposed working conditions upon us." The PGTA Negotiating Team added:
"We have offered many compromises in the form of "supposals" and proposals. Our most recent proposal was presented on August 21st, and as with our other proposals, the financial issues are tied to the increase in revenue to the district. So goes the economy, so goes our raises. Throughout the past 21 months of negotiations, we have presented proposals that would be sustainable for the district without requiring an education fund referendum."
For the past 21 months, the PGTA and District 46 Board of Education have failed to agree upon terms for a new contract. The teachers' contract expired in Aug. 2011.
District 46, based at 3223 Route 176 in Crystal Lake, serves approximately 900 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The district has one elementary school and one junior high school.
In January, the PGTA sought assistance from a federal mediator, and still no resolution was reached. On May 3, the PGTA declared an impasse.