Members of the Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistant (DFTA, IFT Local 4324) and the D61 Board of Education met Wednesday night for 3 hours, but no final agreement was reached.
DFTA President Paula Busboom released the following statement: “Here we are again: another mediation session, another example of the Board’s complete lack of understanding of our members’ jobs, our students’ needs, and the Decatur community. The decisions they are making are harming our district. This unwillingness to budge shows an utter lack of empathy with our members and complete disrespect for the students and parents of our district. We aren’t asking for much. We don’t have high salaries. We live paycheck-to-paycheck like most people in our city. We simply want a contract that won’t make our family budgets even tighter. We want a contract that ensures job security – for our own peace of mind and so our students can learn and grow with the teaching assistants they know and trust.”
Future bargaining date was not yet set.
District #61 released the following statement about the negotiations:
“Representatives from Decatur Public Schools and the Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants (DFTA) met Wednesday evening with a federal mediator to continue contract negotiations. DPS and DFTA spent more than three hours negotiating and had productive discussions, but have not yet come to an agreement. Another negotiating session will be scheduled soon, and we will communicate any movement toward an agreement as soon as we can.”