As negotiations with the District 181 Board of Education on a new contract continue, a group of about 15 selected parents and PTO presidents attended an informational meeting with members of the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Teachers’ Association (HCHTA) Wednesday night at in Hinsdale, according to HCHTA President Justin Horne.
Horne said over the phone Thursday that the point of the meeting was to give parents information about the negotiation process and present the HCHTA's perspective.
Horne sent an email to the press earlier in the day that said, “We wanted to keep the meeting small so that the parents would feel comfortable asking questions and sharing opinions. We are always open to make time for other parents that want more information, but weren't invited to the meeting.”
Horne’s email included the union’s most recent offer to the board, which splits the first and second years of a potential contract in two parts.
In year one, there would be a hard freeze during the first half of the year, then step increases after the first half and no base increase. Before, the HCHTA was asking for a base-salary freeze in year one with step increases in effect all year.
In year two of the union’s new offer, there would be another hard freeze during the first half of the year, and then step increases in the second half with a 1.75 percent base increase. Before, the HCHTA wanted the 1.75 percent base increase and step increases in effect all year.
In year three of the latest offer, the HCHTA wants a 2.2 percent base increase all year plus step increases. The union had not detailed a year three in its prior offer.
Horne said over the phone that the union submitted the latest offer during a three-and-a-half-hour mediation session with the board Sept. 15. The union president said the board came back with .
"It made me think they weren't interested in coming up with a new solution," Horne said.
The school board’s proposal would freeze base and step increases for the first year of a new contract. In year two, step increases would be reinstated but the base freeze would continue. In year three, the board has offered a base salary increase equal to 50 percent of the CPI (not to exceed 2.25 percent) plus step increases.
In his email, Horne said the teachers do not have any plans to strike and he said he feels the union and board are getting closer to a deal.
"But I've been wrong the last few times I've said that," Horne said.