PTU Negotiation Update

February 1, 2022.

Negotiations Continue as Proviso District 209 Teachers’ Union Announce Notice of Intent to Strike

Today, the Proviso Teachers’ Union (PTU), which represents our approximately 280 educators, announced that it has filed a Notice of Intent to Strike with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB). We are disappointed that our educators are contemplating another disruption to teaching and learning following almost two years of learning loss due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. However, this action was not unexpected as PTU has made several public statements about its plans to do so.

The union’s announcement follows its actions on January 20 to initiate the public posting process facilitated by the IELRB. This Thursday, February 3, the most recent offers and cost summaries from both the District and PTU will be publicly posted on the IELRB website for review and input from our community. The District’s public posting and bargaining updates are currently available on the District’s website.

It is important to point out that the union’s action to file a Notice of Intent to Strike does not necessarily mean that a strike will occur in District 209. The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act requires that a strike may not occur unless the IELRB public postings have been published for 14 days to allow for community review and input. This means the soonest PTU could strike is February 19, 2022.

Negotiations between the District and PTU continue. Additional negotiation sessions with a federal mediator are scheduled for February 9 and 23 and March 9.

As a reminder, the following are key elements of the District’s current offer as detailed in our communication dated January 19, 2022:

  • Support Student Success Through Return to Eight-Period Day for All District Schools and Students Beginning in 2022-2023
  • Two-Year Contract to Provide Stability and Flexibility Amid Economic Uncertainty
  • Salary Increases of 5% for All District 209 PTU Union Members Over the Proposed Two-Year Agreement.

Additionally, as detailed in our public posting with the IELRB:

  • The District will continue to cover 90% of health insurance premiums for union members, even in the face of rising costs.
  • The District and the union have agreed to increase post-Master’s degree tuition reimbursement to $2,500 annually to support teacher advancement for the benefit of our students. In addition, the District will continue to pay 70% of tuition for teachers who wish to earn a Master’s degree.

  • We have also proposed other initiatives to improve educational policy, while working to ensure collaboration with the union for the benefit of our schools and students. For example, to facilitate the District’s ability to implement positive changes, we have proposed to eliminate a mandatory notice and waiting period before making enhancements to programs or course offerings.

    To support the academic quality of our course offerings, we have also proposed new contract language that would require teachers to provide lesson plans upon request from a District administrator.

    Finally, to ensure the District’s ability to conduct a fair and thorough review of any allegations of educator misconduct, we have proposed that the District not be time-limited in its implementation of disciplinary action resulting from the findings of any investigation.

To advance our shared goal of continued and expanded learning opportunities for all students without disruption, the District is willing to meet as frequently as needed and for as long as it takes to reach a fair and fiscally responsible multiyear contract agreement that serves the best interests of all stakeholders–students, parents, teachers, and the local residents who pay taxes to support our schools and students. We are committed to ongoing good faith negotiations to reach agreement and avoid a strike.

It is important to note that, while the current contract with District 209 educators expired on June 30, 2021, it is very common in other school districts for teachers to remain in the classroom without disruption to teaching and learning after a contract has expired. During this time, teachers continue to receive pay and benefits in accordance with the terms of the expired contract until a new agreement is reached.

Please encourage both the Board and the union to keep talking and working toward an agreement. As always, we thank you for your support of District 209, our students, and our teachers.

Thank you,

Mr. Rodney Alexander

President, Board of Education

Proviso Township High Schools District 209