The union representing Kishwaukee College teachers says last night’s failed contract negotiations have moved both sides closer to a strike.
Kishwaukee College and the union representing its faculty have been trying to hammer out a new contract for nine months. Tuesday night’s negotiations were scheduled to last two hours but ended early, when administrators presented their “last best offer.” Both sides had agreed to keep negotiation specifics under wraps, but the College put out a news release detailing its latest proposal. Sticking points include salary, health insurance, and sick leave.
The administration says its proposal includes a 4.1% salary hike each year of the four-year contract, but the union says that is only accurate for the median salary. The proposal also includes gradual reductions in benefits, which the union says will eat up much of the pay increases.
The union accuses administrators of negotiating in bad faith and leaving the bargaining table early. Administrators say deals have been stalled by union delays. Both sides say they still hope to avoid a strike.
“We are dedicated to the students we serve, and we expect the College administration to honor that dedication by negotiating in good faith," said Kishwaukee Education Association President Matt Read in a news release from the Illinois Federation of Teachers, “In spite of tonight’s roadblock, we’re still hopeful that a resolution can be made and life can go back to normal for our students without a work stoppage.”