NAPERVILLE, Ill. - As the Naperville Unit Teachers Association and District 203 board members continue to negotiate Wednesday, parents and students say they’re nervous about any disruption at school, especially after last year.
Kalyn Fesemyer, the mother of a first grader, says she hopes there is a swift resolution.
"We’ve been preparing, getting them ready with their masks and their supplies and everything else they need, so definitely getting this under control sooner rather than later would be ideal," Fesemyer said.
NUEA President Dan Iverson said there was "positive momentum" after yesterdays negotiations, but "no significant movement" just "collaborative and creative discussions."
The key disagreements surround "family and parental leave and appropriate compensation for an increase in teacher responsibilities" and Iverson says the district can afford it.
District 203 says on its website that it’s "committed to reaching a fair and fiscally responsible agreement that serves the best interests of all stakeholders … without disruption to teaching and learning."
"I am a little nervous and a little concerned," said Anna Chi, a Naperville senior. "Obviously given COVID last year, I would really appreciate a normal start to the school year. If that’s not able to happen this year it’s not the end of the world for me. In the end it’s for the well-being of the teachers."
Many parents expressed support for the teachers.
"Our District 203 teachers have been fantastic. I know that last year and through all the years they have put forth 100% to 200% effort," said Sneha Augusthy. "We of course want to support our teachers and make sure that they get what they need to feel like they are supported In the school district while they teach our children."
Mediation could potentially continue the week of Aug. 23, according to the District 203 website.
The teachers cannot legally strike tomorrow. Due to a snafu in the posting of their proposal, which is not being blamed on the union, teachers did not give sufficient notice.
Deal or no deal, they are expected to be in the classroom tomorrow.
But they’re not ruling out a strike at a later date.