All posts by admin

What is the Workers’ Rights Amendment?

The Workers’ Rights Amendment is an initiative that will be on the ballot for the November 8, 2022 midterm election in Illinois.  If approved, it will amend the Illinois constitution to protect the bargaining rights of unions.

It “provides that employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work.” (NBC Chicago)

Collective bargaining strengthens the economy, helps working class families get ahead, and reduces socioeconomic inequality.

The majority of Americans support workers’ ability to unionize and collectively bargain.

Please watch and share this IEA video from President Kathy Griffin.

To join the effort, please visit the WRA support page.

NUEA Building Rep Training a Success

On Monday, October 17, NUEA Building Representatives met at the Naperville Municipal Building for an all-day training. While there, reps heard from executive board members, the District 203 HR team, the president of Assured Partners (our D203 insurance broker), John Kohlhepp (IEA government/legislative relations), local politicians, and Julie Resh-Jelliff (our IEA UniServ Director.)

Guest speakers included U.S. Representative Bill Foster, IL Representative Janet Yang Rohr, and Justice Mary Kay O’Brien (below). Reps also completed postcards for IL Senator Laura Ellman.

US Representative Bill Foster, IL Representative Janet Yang Rohr, and Justice Mary Kay O’Brien address NUEA building representatives on October 17, 2022.
Ross Berkley leads the NUEA in a building rep training on October 17, 2022.

You may find more information about the campaigns for Bill Foster, Janet Yang Rohr, Mary Kay O’Brien, and Laura Ellman on their websites. A complete list of IEA-recommended candidates may be found at ieavotes.com.

D203 and NUEA Welcome New Teachers

On Thursday, August 11, District 203 and the Naperville Unit Education Association jointly hosted a welcome breakfast for all new certified staff members. The breakfast was attended by school board members, administrators, NUEA building representatives, NUEA Executive Board members, and building principals.

The audience heard inspiring comments from Kristin Fitzgerald, Jayne Willard, Bob Ross, Ross Berkley, Wendy Goettsch, and Dan Bridges. Several community organizations were also on hand to deliver information about how they support teachers and how teachers may in turn support the community. The common theme that reverberated throughout the presentation was that new teachers are assisted through the various structures and partnerships that the district has fomented over its fifty years of operation.

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 Naperville-based teachers’ union annually gives three scholarships to high school seniors who are children of members, and one scholarship to an education major in their third year of study.  Scholarships are awarded based on extracurricular participation and contributions to the community. These scholarships were awarded in May, 2022.

The high-school scholarship recipients are Adam Johnson from Neuqua Valley High School, Christopher Comer from Naperville Central High School, and Garrett Dahn from Naperville North High School. The NUEA Future in Education recipient is Cora Ondrus from Quincy College.

The NUEA scholarships were created by certified staff in District 203 through their union to recognize outstanding contributions among area high school seniors.  The Future in Education Award was added this year to help support a collegiate student entering the field of education.  The scholarships are funded by member dues and represent a small portion of the local support provided to the community through scholarships, volunteerism, and charitable giving.

Adam Johnson

This fall, Adam will be attending Michigan State University to study accounting.  Adam expertly balances his school life and work-life by participating in a wide variety of activities in both areas.  As an athlete, Adam participated in both Cross County and Track early in his high school years.  As a senior, he shifted to intramural sports, playing both basketball and volleyball.  Adam is also passionate about the benefits of lifting weights and healthy eating.

In the meantime, Adam has also been busy outside of school, especially as an employee and as a volunteer.  Adam has held jobs as a lifeguard and as a food service worker at two different restaurants.  Adam volunteers at Feed Our Starving Children, the Winged Foot Foundation, Giftmart, and the Salvation Army.  Despite his hectic schedule, Adam is still an AP and Honors student at Neuqua Valley High School.  He credits his family and his 9th grade teachers for significantly impacting his ability to study and succeed in school today.

Christopher Comer

Christopher will be attending the Colorado School of Mines to study Electrical Engineering with a focus on renewable energy.  As a student at Naperville Central High School, Christopher has been especially impacted as a member of the Track and Field Club.  There he learned the value of teamwork and selflessness, which led to him being named as a co-captain of the team his Junior and Senior years.  This idea of teamwork was manifested clearly when he organized his team to assist with the cleanup of the 2021 Naperville tornado.

Christopher was not just a Track and Field captain.  He also founded the Speed Club, geared towards helping athletes create speed-improving workouts.  Additionally, he played Junior Varsity Soccer for three years and he was a captain of the Galaxy Soccer Club for three years.

His academic accomplishments and his entrepreneurship skills demonstrate his creativity, perseverance, and business acumen.  Christopher is a member of the National Honor Society and has won an NCHS Academic Excellence Award.  He is an Illinois State Scholar and he is in the Redhawk Leadership Academy.  While focusing on academics, Christopher also volunteered for Harvest Sunday Feed My Starving Children.  As an entrepreneur, Christopher also created and managed two businesses–one as a deck refinisher and another manufacturing Fidget Spinners. 

Garrett Dahn

Garrett will be attending Iowa State University to study aerospace engineering.  Garrett credits the wide variety of course choices at Naperville North High School to help him find his niche in the engineering world.  “Research and Design” and “Architectural Drafting” have been particularly impactful courses for him. 

Garret has served as captain of not one, but two varsity athletic teams at Naperville North High School—wrestling and gymnastics.  Despite the time commitment required of each team, Garrett also found time to volunteer for the City Council Campaign of Ian Holzhauer.  It was by participating in Holzhauer’s campaign that Garrett discovered organizational and leadership skills that helped him be successful in other areas of his life.  

Cora Ondrus

Cora currently attends Quincy University with a major in Elementary Education.  She is driven by her desire to help others, particularly those who come from less-than-ideal circumstances.  She states, “I hope to make a difference in these kids’ lives and let them know that they’re loved for, cared for, and can be successful in life.”

Cora is a proponent of investing time and resources into foundational learning in the primary grades.  The reading and writing skills learned in kindergarten and first grade are so important prerequisite skills for later grades, yet some students fall behind without the expert care of an excellent teacher.  Furthermore, Cora believes that an important key to learning is allowing oneself to take academic risks.  If the teacher has established a trustful learning environment, then students will be more likely to move away from their comfort zone, which is where real learning begins. 

About the NUEA

The NUEA is the association of 1400 certified staff members who work in Naperville School District 203.  They are a unified voice advocating for students and the teaching profession.  Led by President Dan Iverson, they work with the community, administration, students, and parents in District 203 to help provide the best educational experience possible to residents of Naperville, Bolingbrook, and Lisle with District 203.

For More Information

Please contact David Carroll
communications@nuea203.org

New NUEA Positions

Congratulations to our NUEA leadership team on their recent election victories. Donna Lehmann will be reprising her role as Corresponding Secretary for the NUEA. Christine Bell will move to become our new High School Executive. Finally, the new President of the NUEA will be Ross Berkley, effective at the end of this school year.

Many thanks to outgoing President Dan Iverson, who just completed a three-year term as president of the NUEA. Dan has served during one of the most challenging times in our district’s history, and the organization appreciates his expert guidance, calming demeanor, and consistent communication during his time as president.

(Feb 6) Message from District 203:

To Our Naperville 203 Community,

We are writing to provide an update on communication sent Friday evening regarding a legal challenge to state-mandated COVID-19 litigation.

Late Friday afternoon, Judge Raylene Grischow issued a temporary restraining order in pending litigation in Sangamon County that names our District as a defendant. Due to a separate ruling limiting the scope of the litigation and based on advice from our legal counsel, the order applies only to the parties to the lawsuit. The temporary restraining order will be appealed and may be stayed, meaning that the order could be placed on hold while the appeal is decided.

As a result, the legal effect of the temporary restraining order is uncertain over the next couple of weeks. Because of this uncertainty and significant confusion reflected in various reports regarding the temporary restraining order, we want to let the community know our clear expectations for the foreseeable future.

Naperville 203 will continue to implement the same layered mitigation strategies, per the guidance of the national (CDC), state (IDPH), and local (DCHD) health departments, that have allowed us to successfully navigate through the school year. This means we will continue to follow all of the safety protocols listed in our Return To Learn plan, which includes the requirement of masking in schools, on buses and during after-school activities; as well as the continued requirement of quarantines, when necessary, for close contacts. The only exception to this rule will be for those named parties to the lawsuit.

The legal situation continues to be fluid. We anticipate further updates as the legal process plays out over the following days and weeks, and will share this important information with the community. Until then, we ask for your patience and that you continue to follow Naperville 203’s layered mitigation strategies.

Sincerely,

The Naperville 203 Board of Education &
Superintendent Dan Bridges

COVID Information and Resources

from ieanea.org:

IEA leaders are involved in daily conversations with education stakeholders as plans continuously evolve regarding the rest of the academic year in Illinois. Please know that in these conversations, IEA will be looking to make sure several things happen:

  • Everyone – students, members and your families – can stay safe and healthy;
  • Members remain whole as a contributing member to our economy, which will take a huge blow as a result of the pandemic;
  • Students see as much success as possible under these unconventional circumstances;
  • And, that there is flexibility granted to schedules, work locations, assignments and conditions. This is all new, but work must still be done and we are all going to have to join together to find ways to accomplish it.

We’re hearing wonderful stories from all over the state about educators doing wonderful things – from unique remote learning techniques to providing food or internet to underserved communities. We’re not surprised. And, we’re so very proud. Thank you! Thank you for always coming through for Illinois’ students.

Please consult this IEA Page for COVID-related resources.

NUEA Thanks our ESPs!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Naperville Unit Education Association would like to express our appreciation to all of our Education Support Professionals in District 203. There is no doubt that our district would not function without the hard work of our colleagues in NESPA (the Naperville Education Support Association), NUMA (Naperville Unit Maintenance Association), and NTA (Naperville Transportation Association). We stand together with our ESPs to make District 203 a great place to work!

We hope you have a happy holiday season! – NUEA

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.