Hundreds of teachers, students, and Naperville Unit Education Association (NUEA) members rallied yesterday ahead of Naperville School District 203‘s board meeting to encourage the school board to reach an agreement. NUEA, which represents 1,500 District 203 educators, and the board have been in negotiations since January, and an independent federal mediator was brought in last month. The two main issues preventing an agreement are FMLA and salary. NUEA is asking to use additional accumulated sick days and apply them toward more parental leave, as well as a salary increase due to more teacher responsibility. The group started at Naperville North, then walked to Washington Junior High School where the meeting was held.
At the meeting, board President Kristin Fitzgerald said the district is now offering to provide all full-time District 203 educators a one-time appreciation payment to be paid within 30 days of contract approval. Payments would also be made to part-time educators and “prorated accordingly.” This payment would be in addition to the increased salary proposal, which provides raises for every educator during every year of the proposed four year contract, according to Fitzgerald. She also shared the district is now proposing to provide up to eight weeks of paid sick leave for non-medical purposes in addition to earned sick leave “that is provided to medically recover from childbirth.” The next mediation sessions between NUEA and the board are scheduled for today and tomorrow.
Refusing Masks at Meeting
One person was asked to leave last night’s Naperville School District 203 board meeting. He refused to wear a mask after being asked to multiple times. This caused the board of education to go into recess three times before beginning yesterday’s meeting. The state has implemented universal mask wearing, regardless of vaccination status in schools. Superintendent Dan Bridges said District 203 will follow the mandate. He said schools that don’t could lose their recognition by the Illinois State Board of Education. That would result in diplomas and graduates not being recognized by the state, students not being eligible for certain scholarships, and all IHSA athletics and activities not being recognized.
DuPagePads is seeking to purchase the Red Roof Inn in Downers Grove in their effort to end homelessness. According to a press release, Pads will submit an application to DuPage County to leverage one-time federal funds and other grants to assist with the agency’s property purchase. The nonprofit was forced to provide a hotel-housing model last year due to the pandemic, but according to Pads they’ve had tremendous results including an 80% reduction in mental health incidents and requests for assistance. Pads said they have an agreement with the property owner, but it’s contingent on approvals and funding being received.
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