Champaign teachers’ union files strike notice after failing to reach deal with Unit 4

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Sydney Laput

Bottenfield Elementary School is one of 12 elementary schools in the Champaign Unit 4 school district. The Champaign Federation of Teachers and district have reached an agreement after the 10-day strike.

By Thomas DeMouy, Staff Writer

The Champaign Federation of Teachers has filed a 10-day strike notice after it failed to reach a deal with the Champaign Unit 4 School district in negotiations over a 45-minute addition to the school day for elementary students.

According to the school board, after the restructuring of non-classroom time, this will only amount to a 15 minute increase in the working time of teachers, which would reduce the board’s previous proposal of adding 35 minutes to teachers’ workdays.

“The board achieved this by repurposing supervision time to planning, instruction, lunch and recess time,” the school district said in a statement on Friday.

The Champaign Federation of Teachers stated in a press release that it “proposed a compromise that would introduce an extended school day gradually” in order to give teachers the time to plan on how best to support students over the course of two years. 

“We offered time to extend the school day beginning next year, with the opportunity to add more time in the years that follow,” said Mike Sitch, co-president of the Champaign Federation of Teachers in the press release. “We are filing our 10-day intent to strike notice this morning to ensure that we are prepared should the Board refuse to negotiate further.”

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    The next bargaining session between the school district and the Champaign Federation of Teachers is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m., and a deal “must be reached by April 4 to avert a strike,” according to the Champaign Federation of Teachers press release.

     

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