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NESPA: How Can We Help?

Dear Friends of NUEA,

Our union colleagues in NESPA (the Naperville Educational Support Personnel Association) are in negotiations with the district, and are dealing with a contract that expired on June 30th. NESPA members are the classroom assistants, office assistants, special education aides, campus supervisors, and secretaries, among others — who make it possible to do our jobs safely and effectively. They have entered into federal mediation, similar to the process that NUEA went through over the summer. They are asking for our help.

Before the next school board meeting on Monday (9/20), please write a letter of support to the BOE before Monday, September 20.

Many people stepped up to support the NUEA effort to attain a fair contract, including NESPA members. It is now our turn to support them. Let the BOE know how important they are to what we do every day to serve students. What many of them make is nowhere near a living wage here in Naperville, and that needs to change. Please take a moment to let the BOE know your thoughts (link to their email here). As always, we encourage everyone to be respectful, direct, and civil with your appeal. But the BOE needs to know that NESPA is not in this alone here.

Thank you all in advance for your help with this!



Contract Ratification Information

The NUEA is pleased to announce that they have voted to approve the tentative agreement offered by District 203. The NUEA is now waiting for final approval from the school board on September 7 before the contract may take effect. Until then, the NUEA is not authorized to share the details of the agreement to the press or the public at large.

Special thanks go to the Negotiations Team and the Crisis Team for their long hours and dedication to a fair contract that honors our certified staff while maintaining the long-term fiscal stability for the district. Also, the NUEA leadership would like to thank all of the members who served on committees, attended the rallies, spoke at the Board meetings, and wrote letters in favor of a fair settlement. And finally, the NUEA leadership would like to thank the Naperville community. Without their advocacy and support, we would not be at this point today.

The NUEA is hopeful that the Board will ratify the agreement on Tuesday. If the agreement is not ratified, we will let the community know our next steps on this site.

Naperville educators vote overwhelmingly to authorize a strike

Contact: Leslie Strain, IEA Digital CommunicationsLeslie.Strain@ieanea.org

NAPERVILLE – At the conclusion of online voting, the Naperville Unit Education Association (NUEA) membership voted overwhelmingly in support of an authorization to strike. The vote gives the NUEA bargaining team the authority to call a strike. The NUEA and the Naperville Community Unit School District 203 Board of Education next scheduled mediation session is Fri., Aug. 13 at 10:30 a.m. They will continue to negotiate with hope that a settled agreement on a contract is reached.

The following statement can be attributed to Dan Iverson, president of the NUEA:

“To the students and families of District 203: I know these are stressful times and that some of you might be disappointed in this news. This vote does nothing to undermine our desire to be ready to meet and teach your students on the first day of school. You have shown us great support over the years, and you have put great trust in us to teach your children. We ask for your continued support and trust as we work toward a settled agreement with the district.

We have disagreed with the district on two central points: family and parental leave and an appropriate and affordable increase in compensation for the increase in professional responsibilities for teachers.

With respect to parental leave, the NUEA asks that their members be allowed to use their accumulated sick days for the full 12 weeks to which they are entitled under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Currently, members are only allowed to use their sick days for the first six weeks of FMLA, and they are not allowed to use their accumulated sick days to cover the remaining six weeks. This means that NUEA members who wish to be at home with their children for the duration of their federally provided leave must take up to six weeks of that leave completely unpaid. We are not asking the district for paid parental leave. The NUEA does not believe that members should have to choose between nurturing their families and paying their bills.

Also, the NUEA seeks an appropriate and affordable salary increase in response to the district’s continued implementation of a premium learning service. This service, MTSS, requires a tremendous amount of added responsibilities in all areas of teaching: supervising, planning, instructing and assessing, and the NUEA argues that we should be compensated for this premium service we will be increasingly asked to provide for all students.

We look forward to concluding these negotiations with a settled agreement on a contract so that we can turn our attention to preparing for the important work of educating our community’s students.”

The NUEA represents 1,500 teachers in District 203, which serves 16,500 students. The NUEA’s current contract ended on June 30. Negotiations began in January 2021.

On July 29, the NUEA submitted the required documents to the Illinois Education Labor Review Board (IELRB) for public posting. Earlier this week, the NUEA learned that the IELRB did not upload our contract for public posting due to a third-party error. Pursuant to the law, the contracts must be publicly available for 14 days until a legal strike day can be determined. While NUEA is disappointed in the delayed posting, the NUEA will respect and follow the law as we continue to pursue a settled agreement that invests in our students, honors our work, and supports our families. 

The next mediation session with the District 203 BOE is Mon., Aug. 16.

NUEA Begins Public Posting Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On July 22, 2021, the NUEA filed to initiate the public posting process. After months of mediation the NUEA made this decision to promote dialogue and transparency. We believe this notification is an important step to settle negotiations with a competitive and compassionate contract agreement that benefits students, educators, and District 203 families.

As children return to school after last year’s challenges, the NUEA knows that our students will need more support and guidance than ever before, and we intend to be that essential resource for every student in our classroom. The NUEA provides exceptional learning experiences for all students, and we urge Naperville District 203 to present an offer that recognizes the NUEA’s value to the community’s students and families. 

The NUEA and District 203 proposals can be read here on or about August 5, 2021.

For further information, please email nuea2021@nuea203.org

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July Updates

Over the July 4 weekend, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 2643, which is legislation that extends unemployment insurance for non-instructional school employees until Sept. 4. It goes into effect immediately.

The legislation allows noninstructional, research, or primarily administrative employees of educational employers to receive unemployment compensation during periods between academic terms or seasonal breaks, even if they have a “reasonable assurance” of returning to work in the next academic year.

IEA is sending out an email to members soon to inform them about this measure and also provide information about the federal child tax credit money that will be flowing into many members’ bank accounts on July 15. In addition, IEA will be sharing the following resources:

Naperville Tornado Help

Friends, Colleagues and Fellow NUEA Members,

It has been a frightening last 24 hours here in District 203. As you are no doubt aware, a tornado tore through a large portion of the district last night, from about Maplebrook Elementary to Meadow Glens and Ranch View. This event has affected many of our members, our neighbors and our students. It has also affected our neighboring communities of Woodridge and Darien. Thankfully, there has been no loss of life reported as of yet, but the property damage is clearly considerable and lives were altered last night. It is for this reason that we write this short note today.

One of our greatest strengths is our unity. We are an organization whose main purpose is to look out for the welfare of our members and, in so doing, to look out for the welfare of those we teach and for our greater community. Now is a good time to use our primary strength. We have spoken today with a number of our members who were directly affected by last night’s events. And still more of us are aware of colleagues, friends, neighbors and students who may be in need of assistance at this time. Additionally, still more of us are in positions where we can lend a helping hand to those in need.

As a result, we have created THIS DOCUMENT that everyone can edit. If you have a personal need or know someone who does, please list it here with any appropriate contact information.

And if you are able to help, please indicate so and reach out accordingly. It also has options for making general donations of time and material. In this way, we can use our greatest strength to be a source of aid and comfort for our colleagues, our friends and our community.

Thank you all in advance for letting us know of the needs that exist, and for what any of us can do to meet them. In this last year, we have continually proven we can function well in crisis, and that continues into the summer. Thank you for what you have done, what you are doing and what you will continue to do to make our community better. Especially in times of crisis, we are better because of you. Have a wonderful evening, and be well.

-President Dan Iverson

D203 Teacher Union Awards Scholarships

Students honored for their Community Contributions

Four students from the Naperville area received scholarships from the Naperville Unit Education Association (NUEA) in the amount of $1500 each.  The NUEA annually gives three scholarships to high school seniors who are children of NUEA members, and one scholarship to an undergraduate child of an NUEA member who is pursuing a career in education.  Scholarships are awarded based on extracurricular participation and contributions to the community.  These scholarships were awarded in May 2021.

The high-school scholarship recipients are Madeline Sniadecki from Naperville Central High School, Zack Stokes from Waubonsie Valley High School, and Samantha Weigel from Naperville Central High School.  The undergraduate scholarship winner is Kayla Hoffmann from Judson University in Elgin, Illinois.

The NUEA scholarships were created by certified staff in District 203 through their union to recognize outstanding contributions among area high school seniors.  The scholarships are funded by member dues and represent a small portion of the local support NUEA provides the community through scholarships, volunteerism, and charitable giving.

Madeline Sniadecki – High School Senior

Madeline Sniadecki will be attending the University of Iowa majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  While at Naperville Central High School, Maddie has been a leader in all aspects of student life.  Maddie participated in cross-country, track, soccer, and basketball, serving as a captain of the cross-country team her senior year.  She also participated in the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.  She was a member of the Student Advisory Council and served as an Executive Board member and Chairwoman for the Mr. NCHS committee.

Outside of school, Maddie has been a confirmation retreat leader and youth group member at Saint Raphael Church.  She partnered with WaterStep her junior year to organize a shoe drive at Naperville Central.  She collected over 200 pairs of shoes which were resold to provide money for a filtration system for clean water in a small village in Africa.

Zack Stokes – High School Senior

Zack Stokes will be attending the University of West Florida to study accounting and play baseball.  Zack carefully balances his time between his church community and his school community.  He has served as a member of his high-school church youth group and as a volunteer for vacation bible school, Feed My Starving Children, and the middle school youth group.  Zack traveled with his youth group to Colorado on a mission trip to help less privileged individuals find success in life.

Zack has played baseball on various traveling teams since he was nine years old and has been a member of the Waubonsie Valley Baseball Team for all four years of high school. He also worked as a lifeguard during the summers. 

At Waubonsie Valley High School, Zack was chosen as a student leader for the LINK Leadership Team.  As a team member, he met weekly to help Freshman acclimate to the high-school environment.  Zack used his own experiences to help create a positive example for others to follow.

Samantha Weigel – High School Senior

This fall, Samantha will be attending Grand Valley State University to swim and study Elementary Education.  Samantha is a highly decorated swimmer at Naperville Central High School, but she also finds time to participate as a LINK Leader and Commissioner and as a member of the National Honor Society.  Samantha also earned the Silver Award as a Girl Scout Cadette her Freshman year.  She is a PE student leader, swim teacher, and lifeguard in the summers. 

Samantha’s swim career is just starting, but already impressive.  She participated as a swimmer at Naperville Central High School for four years, earning varsity letters each year.  She also was an Academic All-Conference Athlete, state qualifier, and national qualifier for three years. 

Kayla Hoffmann- Undergraduate Future in Education Award

Kayla will be a junior at Judson University in Elgin, IL for the fall 2021 school year studying Elementary Education with an LBS1 endorsement. She just completed her second practicum this past semester in a 4/5 split classroom where she spent over 50 hours working with some amazing students and building confidence in her teaching skills. She was admitted into Kappa Delta Pi (International Honors Society in Education) and named to the KDP officers as the Event Coordinator for Judson University. Kayla has loved working with children since she was young and gives credit to many of the inspirational teachers that she had growing up in District 203 attending Elmwood, Lincoln, and NCHS.

Her passion to make a difference in the lives of children was strengthened as she volunteered from 7th through 12th grade for over 500 hours mentoring elementary students at her church.  Teaching in the Redhawk Preschool for Early Childhood Education and at Maplebrook Elementary School for the “Introduction to Teaching 2” class gave Kayla a unique opportunity to experience teaching firsthand.

School Board Elections

The District 203 School Board currently has four open positions. The NUEA, in collaboration with members of IEA Region 39, recommends the following candidates for the Naperville 203 School Board:

Charles Cush (incumbent)
Kristin Fitzgerald (incumbent)
Donna Wandke (incumbent)
Amanda McMillen

All school board candidates were given an opportunity to be interviewed by a panel of educators and staff from NUEA and our associated ESP Unions NESPA, NTA, and NUMA. Of all candidates, we believe the four above recommended candidates will best guide the district back to full-time instruction safely and responsibly.

Furthermore, they have expertise on a wide range of other issues that will be a necessity post-COVID. District 203 is the 8th largest district in Illinois. Managing the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students, in addition to the financial needs of our community, requires board members with a long-term vision and understanding of what is needed to maintain our district’s status as a high-achieving, fiscally responsible district. They have demonstrated that vision and understanding.

Elections will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. We encourage you to vote!

Welcome New Teachers!

District 203 certified staff members have been attending orientation workshops on July 22 and 23 at Naperville Central, Madison Jr. High, and River Woods Elementary schools. The NUEA was excited to welcome new staff to the district during those workshops. Executive Board members presented the NUEA New Teacher Handbook and discussed the structure, mission, and benefits of our organization.

If you are a new certified staff member in our district and you have questions, please reach out to an executive board member, talk to a building representative, or login to NUEA Connect and read through our posts and links.

NUEA Awards Four Scholarships

2020 Scholarship Winners

Four students from the Naperville area received scholarships from the Naperville Unit Education Association (NUEA) in the amount of $1500 each. The NUEA annually gives three scholarships to high school seniors and one scholarship to a college undergraduate who plans on pursuing an education-related field. All applicants must be children of NUEA members.  Scholarships are awarded based on extracurricular participation and contributions to the community.

The 2020 scholarship recipients are Maria Gabrielli from Naperville Central High School, Kathryn Southon from Naperville Central High School, Mordecai Park from Naperville Central High School, and Alexis Henz from North Central College.

The NUEA scholarships were created by certified staff in District 203 to recognize outstanding contributions among area high school seniors and college undergraduates. The scholarships are funded by member dues and represent a small portion of the local support NUEA provides the community through scholarships, volunteerism, and charitable giving.

Maria will be attending Loyola University this fall with a major in Global Education Policy. Maria’s participation on the J. Kyle Braid Experimental Education Foundation had a profound influence on her choice of major. The Foundation helps empower young adults to make positive and healthy decisions while fostering kindness and harmony among others. Maria was also a member of the LINK Crew, the National Honor Society, and the Adapted PE/Art Peer program. Also a strong athlete, Maria was the Captain of the Water Polo Team and the Swim Team at NCHS.   

Kathryn is planning to attend the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana this fall in the Campus Honors Program with a major in Chemical Engineering. At NCHS, she has been involved in Class Council, Medical Club, LINK Crew, National Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society. Her athletic activities include indoor and outdoor track and field, cross country, and gymnastics. Outside of school, Kathryn is heavily involved with Girl Scouts and volunteers with the Naperville Library Summer Reading Program.

Mordecai will be attending Marquette University in the fall with a major in Exercise Science, which is a component of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Mordecai is heavily invested in the band and in his church. As a musician, Mordecai performed in the Steel Pan Ensemble, Drumshow, Band, Marching Band, the musical, and gave percussion lessons. He also was a church nursery volunteer, a church worship team member, a Vacation Bible School volunteer, and a Manna volunteer for Breakthrough Urban Ministries. He completed a mission trip, but still found time to participate in the National Honors Society and intermural basketball.  

Alexis has been focusing on Elementary Education while a student at NCC. As a senior in high school, she completed a job-shadowing program at the 4th grade level, which helped inspire her to pursue teaching. Alexis has taught and observed in the classroom for over 150 hours the last 3 years in grades 1st, 3rd, and 5th. Last summer, she also volunteered at the library for their summer reading program and helped lead a Sign Language Story Time.  She will complete another field experience this fall before completing student teaching in Fall 2021.