Statement From Dr. Chris Sulllens Kewanee Superintendent on Latest Negotiations with KEA

SHARE NOW

From Dr. Chris Sullens

August 30, 2023

At the Kewanee Community Unit School District 229 Board of Education meeting on Monday, August 21st, members of the Kewanee Education Association (KEA) addressed the Board with concerns over the status of the current contract negotiations. This included the KEA president stating “we need a counter from you.” The Board’s Negotiations Team was also accused of “stalling.” Board President Dr. Jeff Johnson stated that members of the KEA are contacting Board members and asking for details of contract offers.

In order to clarify a total misrepresentation of the Board’s actions, we feel it is necessary to update the public. Prior to the Board meeting on Monday, August 21st, the Board sent an updated offer to the Federal Mediator. It is our understanding this offer was presented to the KEA bargaining team earlier in the evening. Therefore, the Board disputes the accusation that the Board is not submitting offers in a timely manner.

On Monday, August 28th, the Board and KEA were in Federal Mediation for over five and half (5 ½) hours. In spite of not receiving a counter offer from the KEA, the Board submitted another offer to the KEA at the end of this session. The Board has agreed to the KEA’s proposal on several items, including pay increases for support staff.

The latest pay increase proposal for teachers and certified staff members total a 15.75% increase over the life of the three year contract. The minimum teacher salary for the 2023-24 school year would be $42,541. Increases in the first year of the contract vary from 5.53% – 8.73% for beginning teachers hired from 2016-17 school year through the 2022-23 school year. Teachers hired prior to the 2016-17 school year would receive a 6% raise. The Board believes that this offer addresses our mutual concerns to “attract and retain” teachers.

The Board is continuing in the Federal Mediation process until a contract is agreed upon.

 

Submit a Comment