Despite working with a federal mediator, Cowden-Herrick teachers and the district’s Board of Education are at a standstill in contract negotiations.
The Cowden-Herrick Teachers Union and School Board met with the federal mediator November 25 and left without an agreement.
“It was very frustrating from the teachers’ union standpoint because we made a major concession that our union has had for years and in return asked for a small percentage increase and the other side would not move,” said union president Kyle Knop.
“It’s frustrating on both sides,” said Superintendent Darrell Gordon. “With the situation of budgets and the state cuts, it puts the district in financial hardship.”
The State of Illinois has cut state aid payments to school districts, putting a tighter squeeze on already tight operating school budgets.
Cowden-Herrick teachers have been working without a contract since August. The school board is also looking at tightening its belt
“We are looking fiscally and financially at what we have to do to survive,” Gordon said. “Our biggest frustration is with Springfield.”
Gordon said that the board has given its final proposal to the union and the union will be deciding what to do.
“Out union will meet after the Thanksgiving break to see where we go from here,” said Knop.