Champaign Unit 4 Board, Teachers Union Fail To Make Progress On Contract Negotiations

Roughly 200 teachers, as well as children and union supporters rallied outside the Champaign Unit 4 administration building on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018.

Roughly 200 teachers, as well as children and union supporters rallied outside the Champaign Unit 4 administration building on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. The members of the Champaign Federation of Teachers called upon the school district to provide the union with a fair contract.

Lee V. Gaines/Illinois Public Media

The Champaign Federation of Teachers and the Champaign Unit 4 Board of Education announced Tuesday that they had failed to make any progress in contract negotiations.

The statements came after a four hour long bargaining session. In their statement, the CFT says the salary increases offered by the board were “insufficient.” The union also claims that the board is unwilling to address class size, and the CFT's request for a system that incentivizes teachers to visit families in their homes.

A statement from the Unit 4 Board of Education says the district is offering average raises of 3.8 percent for all teachers on the salary schedule, and a 2.5 percent increase for those teachers off schedule. The board also claims they’ve made concessions on other items.

The statement from the CFT reads: 

No movement made tonight. Your Bargaining Team met tonight from 4:30pm until 8:30pm yet zero progress was made...They moved up to 2.05% plus step on schedule and 2.5% off schedule and informed us that they were at the "end of their rope."  Given that inflation was as high as 2.7% last month, this is simply insufficient, especially for our members off schedule. They are still standing firm on their proposal for 2 additional Institute days and are still unwilling to engage us in productive bargaining to address issues such as class size, home visits, and teacher time on institute days.

The Unit 4 Board of Education state that they had hoped to have reached an agreement with the CFT.

The board's statement reads:

Since August 24, the board has increased its financial proposal to CFT three times in an effort to finalize updates to the collective bargaining agreement.  CFT has made no movement and has not changed its salary demand, which calls for average raises of 5.25% for teachers on the salary schedule. The board is currently offering average raises of 3.8% for all teachers on the salary schedule and a 2.5% increase for those off schedule (for each of the next three years).  As previously proposed, board contributions to both single and family insurance will increase significantly beginning next school year and a fully board paid vision plan will take effect this year.  Based on feedback from CFT, the board also made several concessions on outstanding language items and offered a forum to address class size concerns that have been raised.

The union voted to authorize a strike earlier this month. The two sides are schedulated to return to the bargaining table on Nov. 14. 

Story source: WILL