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GEA: “One Word” Difference Between Deal, No Deal

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 1300

(Galesburg Education Association spokesperson Tami Qualls speaks to reporters August 21.  WGIL News File Photo.)

(Galesburg Education Association spokesperson Tami Qualls speaks to reporters August 21. WGIL News File Photo.)

POSTED 8:40pm 8/24/14, UPDATED 7:40am 8/25/14  It’s back to the picket lines for Galesburg teachers after Sunday negotiations between the district and the Union failed.

Negotiations started at 4 pm Sunday and went until 8 pm when they where stopped due to a request by the federal mediator.

GEA Spokeswoman Tami Qualls says if the mediator did not have to leave both sides would have gladly continued negotiations.

Qualls told reporters there’s one issue left on the table to get worked out and it’s coming down to language that’s holding up the process.

“From my understanding, there’s one point, and it’s a very minor…it’s a word,” Qualls said.  “I think that both [sides] are trying to brainstorm and trying to get it done.”

But Superintendent Bart Arthur says what the union is asking for in language is a sticking point that has very little wiggle room.

“State law is very clear in its delivery of what PERA was supposed to do,” Arthur said.  “And, we’re simply going to abide by that law.”

PERA — or, the Performance Evaluation Reform Act that Arthur spoke about — was signed into legislation by Governor Pat Quinn in 2010.

The district adopted the model last year and the four-tier evaluation system has been a hot topic and sticking point throughout the negotiations process.

Arthur says at this time he doesn’t see negotiations continue online any time before Tuesday at 2 pm.

CLICK HERE to hear Sunday night’s Galesburg Education Association press conference.  CLICK HERE to hear a statement issued Sunday night by Galesburg School District Superintendent Bart Arthur.

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