Last week, the District 200 board approved memorandums of agreement between the district and two units of the Service Employees International Union — Campus Safety and Support, along with Buildings, Grounds Custodial and Maintenance — to “furlough or reduce work hours for some employees in lieu of a permanent reduction in force,” according to a statement the district released Sept. 24.
The agreements will be in effect until the end of the first semester and come as Oak Park and River Forest High School continues school on a remote basis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, D200 officials said.
Under the agreement with Campus Safety, officials said, three full-time and nine part-time employees have been temporarily furloughed. The district is offering a $10,000 retirement incentive to union members who are eligible for retirement, if they retire no later than Dec. 31.
Under the agreement with Buildings and Grounds, the district will temporarily reduce work hours for 11 skilled maintenance workers, 28 custodians, one assistant head custodian and a dock attendant, officials said. All of those workers who are eligible for retirement will be offered the same $10,000 retirement incentive, if they retire no later than Oct. 1.
“While our goal is to return to in-person learning for all students as quickly and safely as possible, the board recognizes that we have hard choices to make in the meantime in order to be good fiscal stewards for our community,” board President Sara Dixon Spivy said.
“We are actively working on a reentry plan that will help establish a timeline for all students and staff to return to campus. We are optimistic that next semester we will have some level of in-person instruction, which would allow us to recall furloughed staff. However, we acknowledge the hardship this creates for those employees in the meantime, and in no way does this decision reflect on our appreciation for their service to the district. We hope to be able to reunite our Huskie family in the near future.”
At a board meeting in August, the district approved the furlough of eight full-time and 14 part-time Food Service workers, who aren’t unionized.