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Labor Dispute Looms Over New School Year In Western Suburbs

Empty Classroom

(Credit: Adam Jan/AFP/Getty Images)

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CLARENDON HILLS, Ill. (CBS) — A new school year begins Thursday in Community Consolidated School District 181 serving the Hinsdale area, but a labor dispute between teacher and the school board underlies it all.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Barbara Rank is a resource teacher at Prospect School in Clarendon Hills, and she is ready for the school year.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

“I look forward to every school year,” she said.

District 181 serves nearly 4,000 elementary school students in Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Oak Brook, Burr Ridge and Willowbrook.

The teachers’ contract expired Wednesday, and the board wants teachers to take a pay freeze this year, with all but second-year teachers getting a STEP pay increase for cost of living.

“I’m absolutely positive that’s all going to be resolved in no time,” Rank said. “Everybody in this whole community is all for the kids.”

There are no new negotiations scheduled, but teachers have not given any plans to go on strike.