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Jacquelyn Schlabach, Editor
7:39 pm CST January 13, 2020

The Bremen High School District 228 Joint Faculty Association and Board of Education  reached a tentative contract agreement Thursday, Jan. 16, according to a statement released by the district. 

The agreement comes just three days after the JFA announced on Monday, Jan. 13, that the teacher’s union was set to strike on Monday, Jan. 27.

“To our students, staff, and community, we are happy to provide you with another negotiation update,” Bremen High School District 228 posted on their Facebook page Thursday morning. “As of this morning, the Board of Education and JFA negotiation teams have officially reached a tentative contract agreement. Details will become available to the public after the contract has been voted on and finalized.”

The District 228 Educators Facebook page also shared an announcement updating community members and parents about the progress made.

“As a result, the work stoppage scheduled for Jan. 27, 2020, is suspended pending potential ratification by the D228 School Board and the entire membership of the JFA,” the post read. “The planned community public forums are also postponed until further notice. Ratification voting by the JFA House of Representatives and membership will take place during the week of Jan. 27. We will update you on the voting results as soon as the votes are counted.”

As previously reported by The Junction, the union members have been working without a contract since July 31, 2019, and negotiating with the BOE since December 2018. On Oct. 3, 2019, the JFA voted “overwhelmingly” to authorize a strike. On Oct. 23, JFA posted its last contractual offer to the Illinois Education Labor Relations board, according to the Illinois Education Association.

The district reportedly has a balanced budget, but according to the district it would be deficient spending approximately $7 million a year by 2023 based on the salary portion of the JFA’s proposal.

According to the IEA, the key issues at the bargaining table are competitive compensation and health insurance.

As previously reported by The Junction, over 100 staff members gathered for their third and most recent rally on Oct. 31, 2019, walking along the street in front of Hillcrest High School carrying signs and messages advocating for a “fair contract.”

“The educators of District 228 are relieved that we may continue focusing all of our efforts at this time on our students’ instruction without the immediate concern of a potential work stoppage,” the District 228 Educators Facebook post concluded. “Hopefully this announcement provides our community with some peace for the time being.”