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.”