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Teachers Union Responds to District Allegations

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 1009

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

The Galesburg Education Association is responding to allegations made about the union’s contract negotiating motives as those talks resume this afternoon.

As has typically been the case, the Galesburg Education Association’s Negotiation Entered to the sound of applause at Lincoln School this afternoon, after mediation on Sunday.

The GEA says the real issue of recall rights is beginning to define — as well as hold up — contract talks.  A spokesperson for the GEA says they have concerns that a less-expensive teachers could be favored over a more-experienced teacher based on ranking from the soon-to-be-implemented Danielson evaluation model.

GEA spokesperson Tami Qualls says the GEA has concerns.

“We’re not trying to re-write the less-than-perfect state evaluation system,” Qualls said.  “We are trying to guarantee that teachers are evaluated fairly, and that teachers are retained regardless of their cost to the district.”

Qualls acknowledge the joint committee that developed the four-point evaluation system.  “What changed [from the system's formation], is that they started implementing it,” Qualls said.  “We were told as educators when [the administration] informed us of this, that pretty much that there would be very few — if any — ‘distinguished’ teachers.”  Distinguished is the highest ranking in the four-tier system.

Under the state statutes, a new system is being implemented.  District-205 has been previously using a professional growth model.  But, tenured teachers would start out under the new model with the highest ranking, according to the district.

If an agreement were reached today, the soonest classes could start is Thursday.

To hear  GEA press conference on the matter, CLICK HERE.