Mediation session planned for teaching assistants


DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — A mediation session is now scheduled for Thursday, November 21st.

In a release from the Decatur Public School District:

“To get a fair contract, the two parties have to meet. We’re glad that the board wants to meet us and that we’ll sit down with the federal mediator on the 21st, and hopefully we’ll get a fair contract.”

Jon Nadler

Illinois Federation of Teachers

Nadler said teaching assistants plan to continue making their voices heard leading up to the session by handing out leaflets after work next week. The two sides have been at odds since this spring, with multiple unsuccessful attempts at negotiating a new contract. Two major issues have been pay and health insurance. 

The teaching assistants went on strike for three days at the end of October, before suspending the strike and returning to class without new contracts. 
They filed new unfair labor practice charges against the school district after discovering DPS removed the TAs from their benefits plans when they returned on November 1st.

DPS says staff members worked to resolve the issue and fully reinstated everyone over the weekend. The other charges accuse the district of bargaining in bad faith and interfering in union elections. The charges have been sent to the Labor Board in Chicago for review. 

Teaching assistants rallied outside the school board meeting on Tuesday, November 5, demanding the resignations of multiple board members. 
Prior to announcing a new mediation session, the two sides have said they both remained in constant contact with a federal mediator. 

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