The District 300 School Board and LEAD300, the district's teachers' union, has requested a third-party mediator to help with ongoing contract negotiations, according to a statement released last week by the school board.
The mediator is meant to assist in bringing the negotiations to a timely conclusion, according to the statement.
In spring 2011, the District 300 School Board and LEAD300 agreed to a one-year collective bargaining agreement for teachers and other certified staff, which expired on July 1, 2012, according to the statement.
In January, the first negotiation session took place between the union and school board. In sessions since, the teacher's union has not presented any specific proposal with a salary schedule or benefits to the school board, according to the statement.
"The school board has been unable to develop or present a counter-proposal because no dollar amounts or percentages have been proposed to LEAD300," according to the statement.
LEAD300 has requested, among other proposals, substantially smaller class sizes.
"The school board very much shares this desire to lower class sizes," according to the statement. "But without knowing specifically how much LEAD300 is seeking in terms of salaries and benefits, the school board cannot determine to what extent the district could afford to do so, if at all."
In the statement, the District 300 school board cited several financial woes facing the district including increased costs in the near future due to state pension reforms that will force D300 to pay between $1 to $3 million more per year.
The district will gain $3.2 million per year from the re-negotiated Sears EDA in three years.
"...the increased EDA funding will only begin to partially offset the state funding cuts that D300 has recently suffered in transportation and other areas," according to the statement.
As of Monday afternoon, there were no updates available on the contract negotiations, according to Allision Strupeck, director of communication services for Community Unit School District 300.
Source: District 300 School Board Statement