Union Says No Strike Before April 12
Jensen pledges union will not file intent to strike before April 2 mediation session.
No move toward a strike by the Deerfield Education Association (DEA) teachers’ union will occur before its next mediation session with Deerfield Public Schools District 109 April 2, according to comments today by union President Dennis Jensen.
Based on Jensen’s promise and the rules of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, there can be no strike before April 12.
As the federal mediator released the final offers of both sides today in response to the union’s declaration of an impasse March 8, Jensen made it clear he hopes negotiations rather than a work stoppage will end the dispute.
The published proposals were out of date the day they were given to the mediator March 15 as the DEA offered a counter to the District’s final offer at the mediation session that day. The District promised a response.
“We want to see what they come up with,” Jensen said. “We gave them a significant counter proposal and we want to see if they give us a significant response. We would much prefer to negotiate to a contract (than strike).”
According to Jensen, the DEA gave the negotiating team for the district a counter proposal before the Feb. 29 mediation session in hopes of furthering movement toward a settlement. He hopes the District will do the same ahead of the April 2 mediation to facilitate the process.
Jensen and the DEA may get their wish, according to District 109 School Board and District negotiating team member Steve Schwartz.
“We have a working meeting next week and if we come with something we will send it to them,” Schwartz said.
Should negotiations stall, the DEA must issue a notice of intent to strike 10 days before any work stoppage, according to both Jensen and District Superintendent Renee Goier. Since Jensen has promised no notice will be issued before April 2, no strike could occur before April 12.