Quincy teachers learn about latest contract proposal

The Quincy Federation of Teachers met late Tuesday afternoon to learn about the Quincy Board of Education's latest contact proposal.

The Quincy School Board and the teacher's union have been negotiating a new contract for several months since the last one expired in late August.

KHQA's Rajah Maples spoke with the union president about what transpired at that meeting and what's next.Quincy Federation of Teachers President Valarie Bordenkircher says the union leadership met with its members on Tuesday to update them on the last three meetings the union leadership has had with the Quincy school board.A federal mediator helped facilitate those meetings. The teachers then completed a survey to give their opinions about the latest contract proposal.

She said, "The leadership will meet, and we will gather the information. We will get back with our members within the next few days. This is a process that we are trying to put together in a timely manner for our members."

Bordenkircher wouldn't comment on what's included in the latest contract proposal, but she discussed one of the sticking points in the negotiation process.

Bordenkircher said, "Contract language. Class size. We know that our class sizes are ever increasing. When you have a lot of children, particularly in the K-3 grade level, a teacher just can't reach every child. That has been one of our sticking points."

She said, "A strike is the last thing we want to do. We are here for the kids. We're here for our students. We would like to come to a mutual agreement with the board that would benefit both sides."

The Illinois Senate passed an education reform bill this past year that outlines the process a teacher's union would have to take if it wishes to strike.