District, teachers agree to discuss budget crunch
by Susan O’Neill
KANELANDâ€”The Kaneland Education Association (KEA) and the School administration released a joint press release on Tuesday, stating that the teachers union initiated a request to engage in informal conversations with Kaneland officials regarding the 2010-11 budget.
KEA President Linda Zulkowski said the impending state shortfall, which would lead to the release of approximately 30 teachers, brought the membership to a change of mind in terms of discussing its contract. The KEA in February announced its decision not to reopen negotiations with the Kaneland administration regarding teachers’ salaries.
The KEA negotiated a three-year contract with the Kaneland District in October 2008. The contract included salary increases for Kaneland teachers over a period of three years: 4.86 percent for last year, 6.21 percent for this year, and 5.6 percent for fiscal year 2010-11. This last salary increase is the discussion Kaneland administrators asked KEA to reopen.
â€œThe purpose of these (informal) discussions is to determine if there is a way to mitigate the negative effects of budget reductions on students,â€ the joint statement stated.
There is not yet a date set for these discussions.