On July 27, the District Educators Council (the teachers union atSchool District65, DEC) issued the following statement regarding the status of negotiations of a collective bargaining agreement. No contract has been reached, and the current contract expires at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. 

DEC’s full statement is as follows: 

“As teachers and other certificated professionals inEvanston, we are devoted to our schools, students, parents and community. Our goal is to create teaching and learning conditions that promote the highest quality education possible, with high quality teachers serving the students, with professionals providing a complete and well-rounded curriculum, with a focus on makingEvanstonschools the very best. We believeEvanstonstudents deserve quality education that is second to none. 

“The District 65 Educator’s Council (DEC) held a general membership meeting onThursday, July 26, 2012to update its members on the current contract negotiations. The following information was shared with the members. DEC and the District 65 School Board have participated in bargaining sessions from March to June. Agreements have been reached on several issues. However, the discussions are stalled around a series of proposed changes for the next school year that the administration announced publicly in spring. These proposed changes include: reduction of fine arts for some children, additional class sections for teachers, reduction of teachers’ professional planning time, splitting more teachers over two buildings and scheduling issues. DEC believes these changes will have a significantly negative effect on the quality of education in District 65 and impair the district’s ability to recruit and retain excellent teachers.   

“In June, both DEC and the School Board agreed to utilize a federal mediator. Two tentative July dates were scheduled for working with the mediator. Unfortunately the mediator was not available on those dates. DEC decided to postpone the bargaining sessions until all three parties are able to be present. There are several bargaining sessions scheduled for August. Even though the DEC membership has already given the initial authorization for a strike, it is our greatest hope to reach an agreement that continues the tradition of high quality instruction in District 65.   

“The teachers and educators want to thank the parents and community for their outpouring of support. The idea for yard signs arose from community members wishing to rally around the teachers. We are all appreciative of the displays of support and invite the community to learn more about the issues on our website http://dec65.com.”