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Teachers in the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 are unlikely to have a new contract with the board by the time school begins on Aug. 24, according to the teachers union president.

In response to an inquiry from Evanston Now to Paula Zelinski, president of the District 65 Educators’ Council, said bargainers have “barely touched upon” financial issues, which could be stymied because of uncertainty around school funding from the state legislature.

“The time between February and June was spent on non-financials,” she declared.

Bargaining dates have been scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week, she said, but added that her members were concerned that neither the superintendent nor school board members have chosen to participate in the bargaining process so far.

Zelinski said that teachers will be updated on the status of negotiations at a general membership meeting on Wednesday.

Board President Candance Chow promised to respond to Zelinski’s comments no later than Tuesday, after she discusses the matter with Superintendent Paul Goren.

The current four-year contract, inked in 2012, expires this summer.

Teachers at Evanston Township High School managed to reach an agreement earlier this summer with the District 202 School Board to extend their expiring contract for one year, with the hope that the financial uncertainty with state funding would be resolved before the 2016-2017 school year ends.

Zelinski said that the teachers have twice requested the assistance of a federal mediator, in May and July, “but the board’s team did not agree.”

Related story:

ETHS, teachers extend contract for one year

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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6 Comments

  1. Neither the school superintendent nor the school board…
    So who IS participating in negotiations? If this is true, this appears to be an abrogation of responsibility for both our elected and appointed officials. This contract is serious business and it is disturbing that it may have been handed off to a B team.

  2. No Contract?

    My three children received a wonderful education in District 65. It is so disappointing that the teachers don't have a contract. They deserve better.  Why were the superintendent and school board members not involved in the negotiations? They always participated in the past. 

    1. What are the points of contention?

      Obviously "Support Our Teachers" shouldn't be a blank check for whatever demands the union is making this time around.  We need to balance "supporting teachers" with fiscal responsbility and teacher accountability.  What are the disputes this time around?

    2. The negotiators may not be to

      The negotiators may not be to blame here. Because state legislators and the governor didn't agree on a budget until June, many school districts with teachers contracts up couldn't bargains seriously over money because they didn't know how much money there would be, Train your ire on Springfield, not Evanston.

      1. Springfield

        I'll only agree with you on the fact that Democrates need to show some courage and get Madigan out of a leadership position. He has done the most damage to Illinois than any other politician.

        Inflation has been historically low, if you can believe that. According to the Obama Admistration, inflation has been less than 1 percent over a 2 year period. If our negotiators are any good they should be able to cement a deal at 0.5 salary increase for each of the next 2 years with no change in benefits. That would be very generous considering low demand for teachers, no matter how good many of them are at their jobs.

        If our negotiators can't do that, it is time to get some professionals.

        1. Seeking positional clarity
          So is your position that we pay teachers 0.5% because they are not high in demand or is it that we offer the 0.5% increase because of the nominal increase in inflation?

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