After a ratcheting-up of the rhetoric in recent weeks, it may be that cooler heads are prevailing in the ongoing negotiations between the Mendota Elementary School teachers’ union and the school board.
Both sides will be back at the table with a federal mediator tonight (Thursday night) at 5. And not a moment too soon. The strike date is set for Wednesday of next week. As recently as a week ago, it was unclear if any more steps would be taken following the last failed session, when the two sides seemingly couldn’t even agree on whether one side had left the table early.
School Board President Sean Pappas says the latest offer to teachers is competitive with other districts’ contracts, and that it costs taxpayers nearly double the amount of the most recent faculty contract. He says while the district is in a more stable financial position, the board doesn’t want to commit “all of the reserves to salary raises.”
Union members say they continue to fight for a fair contract. And, they ask supporters of the teachers to show up wearing red today at 4:30 outside Northbrook School.