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home : news : local   May 26, 2016

12/19/2013 10:22:00 AM
Mendota Grade School board submits final offer

Tamara Abbey
Mendota Bureau Chief

MENDOTA — The shared cost of health insurance is a major point in the impasse declared between the teachers and the district, according to the final offer released by the Mendota Grade School Board of Education at the regular meeting Wednesday night.

The teachers voted last week to strike and also must release their final offer to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. The offers will be posted at The district also posted the offer on the school website at

The district is asking teachers to contribute more toward the cost of health insurance. Teachers currently pay $18.33 per month for single coverage and $70.83 for family coverage. The district wants teachers to pay 10 percent of the cost in each year of a three-year contract for single coverage and 15 percent in the first year for family coverage. That would rise to 20 percent in the second year and 25 percent in the third year.

According to the offer released by the district, the teachers are offering to pay $58 a month for single coverage and $108 for family coverage. The proposal also states the teachers are seeking a 4.5 percent increase in salary.

The district also offered a salary increase of 4.7 percent in the first year, 3.6 percent in the second year and 2.5 percent in the third year.

“As you know we’ve been working with the union to come up with a contract resolution,” board president Sean Pappas said. “We’ve been unable to do that. We’ve come up with a final offer. We’ve been able to go over a few facts in our final offer.”

The teachers union did not have a corresponding statement and they also have not set an actual strike date. The next federally mediated negotiation between the two sides is Jan. 9.

Teachers have been working without a contract since the start of the school year. Negotiations between the two sides formally started in February. An examination of minutes from the February 2012 closed session by the Office of the Attorney General found the district had improperly started discussing negotiations a year earlier.

Cross-curriculum learning
Regina Perryman introduced two of her students, Marisol Diaz and Tony Aughenbaugh, who gave a presentation on cross-curriculum learning. The students studied the sinking of the Titanic and applied the research to projects in several courses.

They then discussed how their classmates worked on similar projects relating to the continental railroad.

Lauren Howe and Sarah Henkel were recognized for presenting workshops on curriculum planning to other teachers during a county institute. They were invited to do additional workshops for more teachers in the area.

Heating problem
Drastically uneven heating in the fifth-grade wing is most likely due to a balancing problem. The district’s architect and engineer are looking at the ventilation system. Repairs could be covered by an energy efficiency grant.

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