©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|An Unfortunately Historic Day for the Galesburg School District
|We should know later Monday possibly if a federal mediator will be brought in to resolve ongoing contract issues between the Galesburg School District and its teachers union.
Galesburg Education Association president Russ Ullrich tells WGIL by e-mail that the union will sign the formal request for a mediator to be used for contract talks Monday. It's believed District-205 will take part in that as well.
The most recent contract expired last Friday, and Ullrich says that marks the first time in nearly a half-century that the district's teachers have worked without a deal in place.
It's not clear what the hang-ups are, but Ullrich says they are issues that will, quote, directly benefit the education of our students.
Ullrich tells WGIL that, for example, a teacher in his words involuntarily transferred from Steele to Cooke Elementary School resigned this morning instead of working there, an indication he says of how bad conditions can be.
Despite the creation of a $110 Million Master Facilities Plan, the district has said state funding is to blame for various cuts to the district's budget -- but they've said they've done it all in an effort to preserve jobs.
Ullrich says assuming the GEA and the board sign the agreement for the mediator, it's not known how long it will take before one gets here, nor what dates will be used for mediation.
So far, teachers are not striking, but a statement issued by Ullrich indicated that teachers won't work forever without a new contract.
The contract covers the district's teachers and paraprofessionals, but also teachers employed by the Knox-Warren Special Education District.
District-205 Superintendent Gene Denisar says the district will agree to the use of a mediator. Human Resources Director Diane VanHootegem did not elaborate, but says the teacher resignation is a "much different matter" than is being presented.
|08 22 11 by Newsroom
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