Rockford School Board, Teachers Union Faces Uncertainty

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Both Rockford’s School Board and its Teacher’s Union debate whether to go back to the bargaining table, weeks after they thought they had a contract approved and ready to go.

Back in August, both sides agreed on a two-year contract. But Wednesday night, Rockford’s School Board rejected a proposed healthcare revision, spiraling the entire contract into uncertainty.

The healthcare change would have lowered Blue Cross/Blue Shield premiums to equal the contract's other insurance provider, United Healthcare.

That proposal was believed to cut out between $200 and $500,000 in savings, which concerned those board members against the change.

Board members who supported the change argued the time is ticking, since teachers are supposed to sign up for their health insurance starting in October.

The Teacher’s Union tells 23 News Wednesday afternoon that they will decide their next move in the next 48 hours.

We asked a union rep straight up if the teachers could strike. The rep answered, "I don't have a clue at this point."

Meanwhile, Rockford’s School Board President tells us she's hopeful both sides will reach a new agreement for the board to vote on by next Tuesday’s scheduled meeting.