No Deal For Evergreen Park Schools
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UPDATED: 10/9/2012 5:20 a.m.
EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. (CBS) –Another lengthy negotiating session in Evergreen Park School District 124 and more disappointment.
The teachers strike will continue on Tuesday after negotiators for the school board and the teachers union failed to accomplish much during a nine-hour meeting that adjourned at 12:30 a.m.
And the strike will last at least two more days because there won’t be another meeting until 4 p.m. Wednesday.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding Reports
Earlier Monday, union officials met with members of the public, mostly parents, whose patience is beginning to wear thin. School board members did not attend.
“I think we continue to make concessions, every time we’re at the negotiating table,” union negotiator Tony Demma said at a forum held at the Evergreen Park American Legion. “We’re going to continue to do our best to try to get children back into school.”
Teachers walked off the job Oct. 2, but contract negotiations have occurred regularly since then. A federal mediator is assisting.
The local teachers union represents 135 teachers and 70 support staff at the elementary district’s five schools. The district itself has a total of only 1,800 students. The strike issues center on salaries and insurance benefits.
Dozens attended the American Legion post Monday night for a question and answer session.
“This strike is the result of problems that have existed here for over a decade,” said Mariellen Newquist, co-president of the Evergreen Park Federation of Teachers
Parent and teacher Joanne Riley says it’s been a tough time for her.
“My parents’ point of view may be a bit different than a parent who doesn’t teach in the district as well. It’s just as devastating for me being a teacher as it is for anybody else,” said Riley.