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Transportation Negotiations Postings

Posted on 9/10/2016 - The following message regarding transportation negotiations was sent to all families via SchoolMessenger email blast:

Dear MCHS family,

The Minooka Community High School District 111 and Teamsters Local 179 negotiating teams met with a federal mediator for a mediation session that began at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 9, to resume contract negotiations.

The issues of fair share and maintenance of standards remained stumbling blocks, with the Teamsters continuing to show that fair share is their number one priority. During the session, the Teamsters’ proposal included a wage freeze for all drivers, coupled with their ongoing demand for a fair share dues provision, which would have resulted in less take home pay for all drivers in exchange for the Districts agreeing to give the Teamsters money from drivers who do not wish to support them. The Districts rejected that proposal and instead offered a wage increase to drivers and agreed to the union’s proposed increase for bus aides, but without fair share. This would have guaranteed a raise for all transportation employees. This was rejected by the Teamsters, making it apparent that paying fair share fees to the Teamsters is more important than increased wages for the workers.

Finally, we must once again correct false statements from the Teamsters, this time in regards to requiring drivers to leave the mediation session on September 9 in order to drive their afternoon routes. The union claims this was a surprise to them, but earlier this week the Districts reminded the Teamsters through an email and voicemail to Teamsters 179 President Tom Flynn that, while the Districts were ready to resume mediation, the shortage of drivers in the Districts would require the drivers on the negotiating team to return to work for their afternoon routes on September 9. When we reiterated this during the session on September 9, Mr. Flynn stated that the drivers sitting in the next room were unavailable for their routes. We then directed the drivers to report for work as usual, at which time the Teamsters ended the mediation session.

Once the federal mediator proposes future mediation dates to both parties, subsequent mediation sessions will be scheduled and communicated to the MCHS community.

We continue to thank the MCHS community for its continued patience during this process. We remain hopeful that the future will include a contract upon which both parties can agree.

Sincerely,

Minooka Community High School District 111

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Posted on 8/26/2016 - The following message regarding transportation negotiations was sent to all families via SchoolMessenger telephone and email blast:

Dear MCHS family,

Due to the suspension of the Teamsters strike this past Wednesday, MCHS will revert back to its normal bell schedule with regular start and end times to the school day beginning this Monday, August 29. A copy of the bell schedule can be accessed at www.mchs.net.

While the District’s request to the Teamsters this morning for advance notice of a future strike has not yet been responded to, we are hopeful they will provide advance notice of resuming their strike so that we can limit any potential impact on families.

In the event of the strike resuming, MCHS will adjust its bell schedule accordingly and share details with families via SchoolMessenger telephone and email blasts and postings on www.mchs.net. Once again, we thank families for their continued flexibility during the strike.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenny Lee
Superintendent
Minooka Community High School District 111

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Posted on 8/24/2016 - The following message regarding transportation negotiations was sent to all families via SchoolMessenger telephone and email blast:

Dear MCHS family,

The Minooka Community High School District 111, Minooka Community Consolidated School District 201 and Teamsters Local 179 negotiations teams met this afternoon to resume mediation. The parties exchanged proposals on various issues throughout the afternoon. The Teamsters brought three issues to the table: fair share, management rights, and safety. The parties made significant progress on the safety issues; however, even with much of the language proposed by the Union incorporated into the Districts' proposal, the Union did not agree to it. The Union also proposed interest arbitration, which would put all of the remaining issues in the hands of an arbitrator to essentially write the parties' first contract. The Districts will not abdicate their responsibilities to the taxpayers and students of the community and cede authority to a third party. All parties have agreed to resume negotiations on Friday, September 9th.

While it has not been formally communicated to the Districts, a release by the Teamsters indicated that the current strike has been suspended and that the striking drivers and aides will return to work immediately. However, it appears the Teamsters are reserving the option to walk again at any time. As we did previously, the Districts will ask the Teamsters to provide advance notice of any future strike during the mediation process in order to avoid disruption to our parents and students. We remain committed to the negotiation and mediation process, and hope the Teamsters will join us in that commitment.

Although the strike has been suspended, the Districts will continue to utilize the adjusted bell schedules currently in place and previously communicated with families for the remainder of this week. The Districts will communicate with families by the end of the week what their plans are for next week. Thank you for your continued patience throughout this process.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenny Lee
Superintendent
Minooka Community High School District 111

 

Posted on 8/19/2016 - The following message regarding transportations negotiations and a schedule modification was sent to all families via SchoolMessenger telephone and email blast:

Dear MCHS family,

Beginning on Monday, August 22 and continuing until further notice, MCHS will operate according to an adjusted bell schedule in an effort to accommodate afternoon bus routes for MCHS District 111 and Minooka District 201. The school day will still begin at the regular times (7:45 a.m. at South Campus and 8 a.m. at Central Campus), but will dismiss approximately 30 minutes early each day. On this schedule, South Campus will dismiss at 2:15 p.m. each day, and Central Campus will dismiss at 2:30 p.m. each day. A copy of the bell schedule is provided below:

South Campus
1st: 7:45 a.m. to 9:07 a.m.
2nd: 9:13 a.m. to 10:35 a.m.
3A: 10:41 to 11:09 a.m.
3B: 11:15 a.m. to 11:43 a.m.
3C: 11:49 a.m. to 12:17 p.m.
3D: 12:23 p.m. to 12:51 p.m.
4: 12:57 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Central Campus
1: 8 a.m. to 9:22 a.m.
2: 9:28 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
3A: 10:56 a.m. to 11:24 a.m.
3B: 11:30 a.m. to 11:58 a.m.
3C: 12:04 p.m. to 12:32 p.m.
3D: 12:38 p.m. to 1:06 p.m.
4: 1:12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Please note the following regarding this schedule:

  • Bus pick-up times in the morning will remain unchanged.
  • Students who need to wait for a ride at the end of the day will be invited to do so in supervised common areas at each campus.
  • Shuttle buses will transport students between campuses each day as usual.
  • Lunch services will be offered as usual.
  • There will be minor adjustments to GAVC schedules. These adjustments will be shared with GAVC students.

As a negotiations update, we would like to share that the two negotiations teams have agreed to meet with a federal mediator on Wednesday, August 24. Please note, however, that the District is presuming that the strike will continue on Monday unless we learn otherwise.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the “Negotiations Updates” page at www.mchs.net. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dave DiLorenzo
Director of Community Relations
Minooka Community High School District 111

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Posted on 8/19/2016 - The following message regarding transportations negotiations was sent to all families via SchoolMessenger telephone and email blast:

Last night, the Minooka Community High School District 111 Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting for August. At the meeting:

  • Acting president Patti Ruettiger read the following statement to the meeting’s attendees and media representative:

    The Minooka Community High School District 111 Board of Education is committed to resolving its current transportation negotiations with the bus drivers and bus aides represented by the Teamsters Local 179 and reaching a collective bargaining agreement with them as soon as possible. We reiterate that these staff members are vital to the success of our transportation efforts and are valued as employees.

  • The Board of Education heard several comments from bus drivers with concerns.

The District would like to reiterate that they are supporting their drivers - most of whom have shared that they are not interested in fair share and are committed to student safety - through this process.

As a reminder, several measures are in place to ensure the safety of District buses, including that:

  • All drivers are required to complete a pre-trip form every time they drive the bus. This form calls for drivers to review the various safety features on the bus and verify that they are in proper working order. If a safety feature needs attention, drivers note this on the form and one of our four full-time staff mechanics proceed with necessary repairs.
  • District buses also go through a brake inspection, oil change and a thorough safety inspection by our mechanics and then the State’s safety lane every 6 months or 10,000 miles.
  • 10 new vehicles were introduced into our fleet this year.

As always, up-to-date information is available on the “Negotiations Updates” page at www.mchs.net

MCHS District 111 thanks you for your continued cooperation and flexibility.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenny Lee
Superintendent
Minooka Community High School District 111

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Posted on 8/18/2016 - The following message regarding transportations negotiations was sent to all families via SchoolMessenger email blast.

Dear MCHS family,

As you know, the Teamsters Local 179 called for a strike this morning at 5:30 a.m. with no advance notice to our District other than the 10-day notice sent on August 2nd. As demonstrated today, we are committed to providing safe transportation to and from school for our students. We want to also assure you that our fleet is safe and that our buses have passed all mandated inspections. Our drivers are fully trained to perform pre-trip inspections, and we have mechanics on staff to respond to bus repair needs.

We are proud of and grateful for the bus drivers and bus aides who came to work today. We sincerely appreciate their commitment to our students and families. We also want to thank our teachers and support staff for their efforts to make sure our school day ran as anticipated. Finally, we are grateful to our families and students for their continued flexibility.

Yesterday, the District agreed to three mediation session dates proposed by the federal mediator. To our knowledge, the Teamsters Local 179 have yet to respond to the proposed dates and have since gone on strike. Please know we are still in hopes of settling this contract with the bus drivers and bus aides represented by the Teamsters Local 179 and getting back to our regular schedule.

Again, we thank the entire community for its patience during this strike.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenny Lee
Superintendent
Minooka Community High School District 111

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Posted on 8/18/2016 - The following message regarding an early dismissal on August 18th and 19th was sent to all families via SchoolMessenger email blast.

Dear MCHS family,

In an effort to accommodate afternoon transportation routes for both MCHS District 111 and Minooka District 201, the school day at MCHS Central and South Campuses will be dismissed ten minutes early today, August 18th and on Friday, August 19th. Students will be dismissed at 2:32 p.m. today and tomorrow at South Campus, and at 2:47 p.m. today and tomorrow at Central Campus.

Students who are not assigned or do not utilize bus transportation will be invited to wait for their rides home in supervised common areas at both campuses today and tomorrow.

Please note that morning bus pick-up times for Friday, August 19 will remain as scheduled. Only dismissal times are being adjusted for today and tomorrow.

MCHS thanks you in advance for your cooperation and flexibility. Should other schedule adjustments need to be communicated, please know that families will be notified via School Messenger telephone and email blasts and through postings on www.mchs.net.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenny Lee
Superintendent
Minooka Community High School District 111

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Posted on 8/18/2016 - MCHS District 111 was notified this morning that there is a work stoppage underway involving some of our transportation staff represented by the Teamsters Local 179. We anticipate transportation services will continue as anticipated, but wanted to make you aware of this situation. Please refer to the frequently-asked-questions document MCHS shared with you last week (and that is also available on the "Negotiations Updates" page at www.mchs.net.) We will follow-up with you later in the day with additional updates.

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Updated on 8/13/2016 (originally posted on 8/11/2016) - A frequently-asked questions (FAQ) document was emailed to families via SchoolMessenger blast in an effort to provide families with answers to questions associated with the current transportation negotiations. Click here to view the document.

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Posted on 8/10/2016 - Some families may have seen a recent flier from the Teamsters Local 179 Negotiating Team urging the District 111 and District 201 negotiating teams to return to the bargaining table. A document that provides the District's clarification of some items stated in that flier is available to view/download by clicking here.

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Posted 8/10/2016 - The following message was sent to all MCHS families via SchoolMessenger blast (phone and email):

Dear MCHS family,

Last week, we informed you of the possibility of our bus drivers and bus aides represented by the Teamsters Local 179 going on strike. While the Teamsters Local 179 have yet to confirm if/when a strike will take place, we have been hard at work assembling a plan that would allow us to begin the school year on Monday, August 15th with as few adjustments as possible.

We are pleased to tell you that we have partnered with Minooka CCSD #201 to create a plan in place that will allow us to begin school and provide all transportation services as usual, regardless of whether or not a potential strike takes place. This plan anticipates that all students who have been assigned bus transportation will be able to utilize that service beginning on the first day of school as planned, and will be picked up/dropped off at their regularly-assigned times. The only adjustment we anticipate is that students will be allowed into school a few minutes earlier than usual each day. During this time, they will be supervised in common areas of each campus.

Shuttle buses that travel between campuses and GAVC buses will also run as usual. In short, the school day will begin and end at the regularly scheduled times, bus pick-up and drop-off times will remain the same, and families and students should see only a slight difference at most in daily school transportation operations.

Please know that we also have two backup plans in place should components of our initial plan change or become unavailable. In the event of a change in plans, the District will notify all families via SchoolMessenger blast and through postings on www.mchs.net.

In the near future, the District will also issue a frequently-asked questions document via SchoolMessenger blast to families. This document will provide families with answers to commonly-asked questions associated with the potential strike. The document will be updated as needed with additional items the District feels will be of benefit to families.

Again, we thank you in advance for your continued patience as we begin the new school year. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenny Lee
Superintendent
Minooka Community High School District #111

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Posted 8/2/2016 - The following message was sent to all MCHS families via SchoolMessenger blast (phone and email):

Dear MCHS family,

MCHS District 111 and Minooka CCSD 201 have been in contract negotiations with the districts’ bus drivers and bus aides who are being represented by the Teamsters Local 179. While negotiations have been ongoing since February 2016, the District must inform you that on Monday, August 1, 2016, it received a Notice of Intent to Strike from the Teamsters Local 179 (see attached - notice.pdf).

The Notice of Intent to Strike is legally required to be issued by the Union at least 10 days prior to any actual strike. On August 2, 2016 the Union and the District attended a mediation session with the Federal mediator. This session was cut short by the Union at 11:15 a.m., and the Union also cancelled the August 8, 2016, scheduled mediation session.

The Union is not required to provide any additional notice to the District of the specific date on which it intends to strike. The District asked the Union for this information and the Union declined to provide additional notice beyond what was required. 

As a result of the timing of these actions by the Union, the District is anticipating that the bus drivers and bus aides are planning to strike on the first day of school. The Board of Education stands ready to resume negotiations in an effort to avoid a work stoppage by the District’s bus drivers and bus aides. However, even if a strike is called, all drivers and aides will be asked to report to work as usual. Those drivers and aides who choose not to participate in a Teamster strike will work as usual on behalf of your children. 

In an effort to keep families informed regarding these negotiations, I am including with this correspondence a copy of the District’s most recent financial proposal (see attached - proposal08022016.pdf). The District’s drivers are currently one of the top two highest paid school bus drivers in the area. The Teamsters’ latest offer includes a compensation increase of approximately 21% over the next three years. Their offer also includes the implementation of Fair Share, which will require drivers who decline to join the Union to pay a percentage of the inpidual Union dues, commonly 75-80% of full dues. From the District’s standpoint, we cannot philosophically agree to an initial contract that forces drivers who do not wish to join the Union to pay this cost annually.

Our bus drivers and aides are critical components to our educational system, and we believe our proposal was fair and respectful. Again, we are hopeful that we will be able to continue working with the Teamsters Local 179 to reach a collective bargaining agreement and avoid a strike. Please know that we will continue to share information with you as it becomes available. You can also visit www.mchs.net and click on the “Negotiations Updates” link at the top on the Quick Links menu on the home page. Thank you in advance for your flexibility and support as we continue through these negotiations.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenny Lee
Superintendent
Minooka Community High School District 111

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Posted 8/2/2016 - MCHS District #111 Board of Education: Most Recent Offer Regarding Collective Bargaining Negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 179

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Posted 8/1/2016 - International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 179 Notice of Intent to Strike

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Posted 7/29/2016 - MCHS District #111 Board of Education: Most Recent Offer Regarding Collective Bargaining Negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 179

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Posted 7/29/2016 - International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 179: Most Recent Offer Regarding Collective Bargaining Negotiations with the MCHS District #111 Board of Education