The union for East St. Louis District 189 “will be forced to go on strike” Oct. 1 if a contract agreement is not reached before then, according to the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
Thursday’s negotiation ended when the school district’s team “did not have the authority to reach an agreement and we don’t have any indication if they will respond to the counter proposal we made today,” said Dave Comerford of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.
Oct. 1 The strike date set by East St. Louis teachers
Kelli Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the district, said it’s the practice of the district not to comment on ongoing negotiations. “Providing our students with an uninterrupted quality education is a priority of the school district and we are making every effort to come to an agreement.”
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Comerford said the teachers have been working without a contract for more than a year and has not had a pay increase for more than three years.
“We have analyzed the district’s budget and asked for more data from the administration,” the union’s news release said. “We have not seen any data that shows the district can’t afford our proposals.”
Comerford said the district’s bargaining team came Thursday with a “last, best offer” to which the union made a counteroffer.
We have not seen any data that shows the district can’t afford our proposals ... Membership is very frustrated.
Dave Comerford of the Illinois Federation of Teachers
“Then the district indicated they didn’t have the authority to make any changes. They’re going to go back to the financial oversite panel ... and didn’t indicate one way or another,” what the district might do, Comerford said.
“Membership is very frustrated,” he said.