Deadlines loom in District 220 negotiations
By Bridget O’Shea firstname.lastname@example.org January 30, 2013 8:02PM
Updated: March 2, 2013 11:39AM
BARRINGTON — School officials and teachers were in a closed-door negotiation session Wednesday night, and unless a deal was reached, both sides have until 5 p.m. today, Jan. 31, to submit their last and final offers to the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board.
With the first strict deadline looming, Jeff Arnett, chief communications officer for Barrington Unit District 220, reported that the goal is to work toward a tentative agreement during the session.
Last week, the bargaining team representing the teachers — the Barrington Education Association — declared an impasse in negotiations with the school board. That declaration started the clock on a series of deadlines.
According to the state-mandated timeline, the results of Wednesday’s meeting will be made public by the state’s labor relations board Feb. 7. The teachers also can file federal notice of intent to strike on that date. The earliest date a strike could begin is Feb. 21.
“Everyone is still optimistic that there will be progress this evening,” Arnett said Wednesday afternoon. “Everyone remains optimistic and hopeful that an agreement will be reached.”
Arnett added that negotiations are allowed to continue through Feb. 21 to avert a strike.
The two sides have met regularly since last spring. Teachers have been working under the terms of an expired contract since August.
A federal mediator was called in last month to assist in the discussions.