Information from District 220:
Since last March, two bargaining teams – one representing members of the Barrington Education Association and another comprised of Barrington 220 Board of Education members, who represent the community – have met regularly to reach agreement on a new contract for district teachers. Regrettably, very early Thursday morning, leaders of the BEA declared an impasse in their talks with the Board of Education despite the involvement of a federal mediator since December.
What does impasse mean?
According to Illinois State Law, because the BEA has declared an impasse, both sides - the BEA and the Board of Education - now have seven days to agree on a contract. Following one week, if an agreement is not reached, both sides must submit their last and final offers to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB). Seven days later, both sides' last and final offers will be made public for anyone to review. If there is still no agreement within 14 days of when last and final offers are posted, the BEA may initiate a work stoppage - assuming a formal "Notice of Intent to Strike" was issued 10 days prior and no agreement is reached in the meantime.
Does an impasse mean a teachers' strike is imminent?
No; it simply indicates the BEA is exercising its rights within Illinois State Law. With the help of a federal mediator, negotiations will continue throughout the specified timeline. The Board of Education remains hopeful an agreement can be reached and a teachers' strike can be averted.
If there is a strike, when might it occur?
Using the timeline explained above, here are important dates to keep in mind:
- Wednesday, Jan. 30 - If no agreement was reached in the previous seven days, the Board and the BEA will both submit their last and final offers to the IELRB;
- Wednesday, Feb. 6 - If no agreement was reached in the previous seven days, the IELRB will publish both parties' last and final offers for public review;
- Wednesday, Feb. 20 - If no agreement has been reached, the BEA could initiate a work stoppage - assuming a "Notice of Intent to Strike" was issued at least 10 days beforehand.
What is the bottom line?
Just because the BEA has declared an impasse does not mean a strike is certain. Even if there is a work stoppage, the earliest legal date for it to occur is Wednesday, Feb. 20. With continued help from the federal mediator, conversations and meetings will earnestly continue throughout the next phase in an effort to settle the contract and avoid a strike. Still, the school district will make necessary preparations just in case and will communicate those details to parents and community members in a timely manner. The Board will continue to be respectful of Barrington 220 teachers and mindful of the impact this process may have on students and their families.
Information from District 220