CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district and the union that represents its support staff members are jointly requesting a federal mediator to help them settle a new contract.
The two sides spent seven hours negotiating Wednesday but did not reach an agreement, said Champaign Educational Support Professionals President Steve Pease.
The district and the union have a negotiating session scheduled for Nov. 13, Pease said, but it's possible a mediator's schedule won't work with that date.
School district spokeswoman Stephanie Stuart said she could not comment on the two sides' request for a mediator.
Pease said the union's bargaining team is working for the people it represents.
“Our members work hard every day for the staff and families of this district,” Pease said early Thursday morning. “We are bargaining for them and their families.”
Pease said he believes the union and school district aren't too far apart.
The union's contract with the school district expired July 1, and the two sides have been negotiating since June.
The union represents about 540 Champaign school district employees in 14 kinds of jobs, including cooks, mechanics, teaching assistants, secretaries, custodians and more.