UPDATED 5:20 P.M., DEC. 3: LEAD 300 announces plan to strike after union and District 300 officials can't agree on terms of a new contract. Union members will be on strike Tuesday morning. There will be no classes.
UPDATED AT NOON, DEC. 3: “We are currently meeting with the board, we’ve explained our position,” LEAD 300 spokesman Mike Williamson said. “We are still in the thick of things.”
District 300 officials and the union met at 8 a.m. and the union explained what its members need in order to ratify a contract, he said.
“We are at least still talking,” Williamson said.
The two parties took a break to give the district some time to rework its proposal and will reconvene at 12:30 p.m.
LEAD 300 members resoundingly rejected District 300 school board’s final teacher contract offer Sunday as both sides head into another negotiation session Monday, each hoping to ward off a strike that could start early this week.
Union spokesman Michael Williamson said the LEAD 300 bargaining team will meet with school board officials at 8 a.m. Monday to continue negotiation talks. However, the membership is saying they are not going to accept what the board is offering and will ask the board to make more movement on the issues.
The union has not set a strike date, he said. However, the union could go on strike Tuesday.
Specifically, the outstanding issues are compensation and class size. District 300’s final offer included cap sizes for elementary schools but did not provide a cap for middle and high schools.
“The board knows it needs to make (some) movement,” Williamson said. “We’ve come a long way and we’ve compromised, but they will have to do better.”
“We are hoping they will come with something better,” he said. “We are prepared to go out if they can’t.”
LEAD 300’s bargaining team is prepared to hammer out an agreement into the night if it sees some movement on the district’s side, Williamson said.
School board member and spokesman Joe Stevens said the parties have been making progress.
“I am very hopeful they are not going on strike,” he said Sunday night. He said he had not heard about the union’s meeting and was expecting an update at Monday’s 8 a.m. meeting.
The district has set up three emergency attendance centers that would be available as emergency daycare for students in kindergarten through sixth grade if a strike does occur, according to the district’s website.
The centers will be set up at Carpentersville Middle School, Dundee Middle School and Hampshire Middle School. Daycare would be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
About 600 to 700 children have been registered for the daycare services, Stevens said.