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Why I voted No on the District 15 program assistants contract

A four-year contract was approved by the District 15 Board with its ESPA union by a vote of 4 Yes (Babcock, Bokor, Ekeberg, Seiffert) to 3 No (Herr, Iannuzzelli, Sriram) on September 11th. The ESPA union represents more than 450 program assistants, secretaries, clerical assistants, TPI aides, and school nurses.

Following are some brief remarks explaining why I voted No.

There are three major flaws with the agreement:

1. There was no attorney review of the tentative agreement and attorney review is essential for any large contract. The value of this contract is approximately $55 million, which is calculated as $7.5 million per year for four years for wages plus $6.3 million per year for benefits.

2. The Board established guidelines on May 8th and the negotiating team made changes in the tentative agreement that are not consistent with those guidelines. The team did not come back to Board before reaching tentative agreement.

3. The terms and conditions of this agreement are inconsistent with some of the other negotiated agreements.

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