News Local/State

Champaign Teachers Union Says Unit 4 Refuses To Bargain

Dr. Howard Elementary School in Champaign.

Dr. Howard Elementary School in Champaign. Travis Stansel / Illinois Public Media

The Champaign teachers union says the Champaign Unit 4 School District is violating labor law by refusing to bargain over compensation and support for teachers who have to move their classrooms.

Teachers at Dr. Howard Elementary School and the Columbia Center are preparing to move ahead of demolition of the elementary school. The school will be rebuilt over the next two years. President of the Champaign Federation of Teachers, Jen White, says she heard from teachers there who say they received conflicting information from the district about how they’d be compensated for the time it takes for them to pack and unpack their classrooms. She says she asked the district to bargain with the union on an agreement, and Unit 4 administrators refused. 

“That is why we filed the unfair labor practice yesterday. We feel they are violating the law by not bargaining with us on this issue," White says. 

The district says they’re operating under a 2013 agreement that provides teachers with two paid days to pack their things. White says that agreement is expired – but in an email today, a spokesperson for the district refuted that claim. 

White says she hoped to resolve the communication problems between teachers at the school and district officials through the bargaining process. 

“The levels of miscommunication and incompetency regarding this whole move have been horrific. Teachers are stressed out," she says. 

The CFT filed an unfair labor practice charge with the Illinois Educational Relations Board on Thursday evening.  

Follow Lee Gaines on Twitter: @LeeVGaines