Evergreen Park Teachers Could Go On Strike In A Week

EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Teachers in southwest suburban Evergreen Park have set next Tuesday as a strike date if there is no contract agreement by then.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, contract talks Monday night produced no new deal, but negotiators are expected to be back at the bargaining table Wednesday evening.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

“Teachers aren’t looking to gain here,” said Dave Comerford, spokesman for the International Federation of Teachers. “They’re just looking to try and hold onto things they have.”

There are 135 teachers in District 124. The school board there is said to be offering pay raises based on inflation, with bonuses tied to student test scores.

Teachers want at least 3 percent raises each year, with no bonuses connected to test scores.

As recently as the middle of last month, district officials were saying progress toward a contract was going well. District 124 director of business services Dean Gerdes told the Chicago Reporter that tentative agreements had been hammered out.

The major remaining issues at that time, Gerdes told the Chicago Reporter, were demands of increases in compensation for aides who feed young children with disabilities and help them use the bathroom, and changes to “just-cause discipline,” which allows teachers to dispute disciplinary action against them.

Last month, 80 percent of teachers in the district voted on a strike authorization, with only two voting against.

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