As a filed intent to strike date approaches on Wednesday, union leadership for Mendota Elementary School teachers and the Mendota CCSD#289 Board of Education will meet Thursday evening for a bargaining session.
In a short statement posted by the union, they say they are pleased to report the session scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
They said in their post Tuesday night that an e-mail was received from the board's lawyer indicating the last offer from the board is not a final offer and that the board wants to meet on Thursday with a mediator to reach a settlement.
Among the accusations by the union surround a press release they say insinuated a "take it or leave it offer." The union said Friday they were filing a complaint for unfair labor practices.
In response to the attorney e-mail, the union said in their Tuesday statement, "we too are hopeful for a fair settlement."
Meanwhile, the district also issued a statement on Tuesday, clarifying points about negotiations scheduling and that they are also available to meet other dates.
They also issued remarks about the district budget responding to arguments from the union. They say, "the board acknowledges that while there may be positive fund balances in some areas of the district budget the district does have outstanding debt."
The Board says they do not believe it is, "in the taxpayers’ best interest to have to issue additional debt in the future to cover regular operating expenses."
They also argue their most recent offer issues a competitive salary and benefit package -- another sticking point between the union and board.
According to the board, the cost is nearly double that of the last three-year contract and the largest ever offered. They also essentially say they are currently in a more secure financial position and that committing all of the reserves to pay raises would not be prudent.
The board says the latest offer that was passed to the Union remains available for them to consider and/or offer a response. The union said in a previous post that they are not willing to accept that offer.
You can view the full statements from both the union and board, here: