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Geneva teachers union leader: Complaint to be dropped

Published: Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 5:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 9:32 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – Although the teachers union president said its unfair labor practice complaint against Geneva School District 304 would be withdrawn, no paperwork to dismiss it officially has been filed, officials said.

The Geneva Education Association had accused the school board of trying to intimidate teachers during this fall’s contentious contract talks.

Last month, the district filed its own unfair labor practice against the teachers union. The district charged the union had bargained in bad faith because its attorneys agreed to drop the charge if a contract was ratified – and then refused.  

“We have not received anything from either side – yet,” said John Brosnan, special counsel to the Illinois Education al Labor Relations Board. “It looks like both sides will withdraw, but they have not filed paperwork yet.”

In an email response, teachers union President Carol Young said the complaint would be dropped – but reluctantly.

“We did drop the unfair labor practice,” Young’s email states. “We needed to do this due to statements made by the [Illinois Education Association] attorney to the board’s attorney.”

School board President Mark Grosso said he could not comment about the unfair labor practice complaint because the issue has not been discussed by the board.

“We have nothing formal,” Grosso said. “We just had email exchanges among attorneys.”

Grosso said the board would talk about the teachers’ and the district’s unfair labor practice complaints at the next meeting, 7 p.m. Monday at Coultrap, 1113 Peyton St.

Young’s email stated the teachers union was “not happy” to drop the complaint.

“The bigger issue is the respect and trust that has been damaged in the relationship between the Geneva School Board and the teachers by the board’s actions during negotiations,” Young said in her email. “A great deal of work needs to be done to mend this relationship and, unfortunately, the teachers have seen very little indication that the board is interested or willing to do that.”

Grosso said he could not comment about Young’s assertions.

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