Teacher morale is a continuing problem in School District 65, Dorothy Millard, president of the District Educators Council (the teachers union) told School Board members during the public comment section of their Dec. 15 meeting.
She told Board members, “As you know, we barely ratified a contract between DEC and the District 65 School Board. Contracts and votes are not just about financial concerns. To that end, I am speaking to you this evening of what you should already know.
“You continue to have issues regarding morale in this District. This is not new, but it is something you intentionally choose not to recognize and address. This will continue to fester until you, as a School Board, finally acknowledge that it exists and then implement a plan to fix what you have allowed to remain broken.
“One thing that stands out is the amount of misinformation and mistrust and overall miscommunication. As a result, many teachers feel they work in a hostile environment, one where the central office is disconnected from the schools.”
As an example, Ms. Millard referred to a recent letter concerning health-care coverage that the District had sent to married employees where both spouses work for the District. Ms. Millard said DEC was open to discussing that and other issues with the Board.
On Nov. 14, DEC’s membership voted to approve a collective bargaining agreement with the School Board by a vote of 287 to 279. Board President Mary Erickson has described the contract as the “richest offering since the inception of tax caps in 1994.”