Article Image
Galesburg Teacher’s Union Headed to Arbitration with School District

Wednesday, May, 6, 2015


The Galesburg Education Association (GEA) is headed to arbitration with the Galesburg School District over two grievances the union filed with the district. The GEA has accused the district of evaluating different schools with different metrics, essentially cherry-picking how to rate school performance.


The GEA originally filed the grievances in February, but the district denied them in March, saying that the grievances were filed as class-actions but only involved a single individual. The district accused the union of “fishing” for other aggrieved individuals, and denied the grievances on that basis. The union maintains that the district was simply seeking any sort of technicality to justify quashing the grievances, and expressed hope that the more objective Illinois Education Association (IEA) will be more effective in getting their grievances resolved.


The GEA’s filed the grievances with the IEA immediately after being denied by the district and requested arbitration. The IEA has stated that their goal will be to avoid arbitration if it can convince the GEA and the district to come to an agreement before that point. The IEA has noted that relations between the union and the school district board have improved after hitting a low point during a 2014 strike.


The evaluations conducted by the district can have a large impact on the individual schools’ budgets, teachers’ careers, and other aspects of the facility. The GEA believes the district approached the evaluations with an agenda, and adjusted the metrics to suit their desired outcomes.