The last contractual offer has been submitted by the members of the Bremen High School District 228 Joint Faculty Association (BHSD228-JFA) to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB). The contractual offer is submitted for public posting. According to the law, when the IELRB posts the last best offer from the BHSD228-JFA and the Bremen High School District 228 Board of Education (BOE) on its official website, the BHSD2288-JFA can go for a strike legally in 14 days.
The BOE of the district and the BHSD228-JFA has been negotiating for a long time. The decision is taken by the Association due to the lack of progress in the negotiation. Greg Fitch, the president of the BHSD228-JFA, said, “The last thing we want to do is go on strike.” He added that they would put their students first in every condition.
Fitch added that course cut and bigger sizes of the class were harming the students. The Association has been negotiating with the BOE since December 2018 and the members of the association have been working without a contract since July 31, 2019. There are four schools in District 228 including Bremen High School, Oak Forest High School, Hillcrest High School, and Tinley Park High School.
There are more than 5000 students studying in District 228 high schools. The D228-JFA has at least 353 members including teachers, counselors, psychologists, librarians, and pathologists. Fitch said, “We need to do more to effectively attract and retain talented educators.” He added that the quality educators were important for the better future of their students.
The BOE and the JFA have been negotiating over the key issues of competitive compensation and class sizes. The Association is asking for better salaries competitive with the neighbor districts. It proposed an average raise of 3.5% in the salaries of educators per year for the next five years. The association also demands to put in the writing class size restrictions.