Reporting Mike Parker
CHICAGO (CBS) – After six school days missed due to the teachers’ strike in Evergreen Park, parents have started losing their patience with the school district.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports the teachers union and school district were in contract talks Wednesday evening, and continued working late into the night, with no word on the progress of negotiations.
Teachers rallied just before the latest negotiation session began, shouting pledges to get a deal done Wednesday night. That didn’t happen as talks ended Thursday morning without a settlement. The two sides will meet again at 5:30 p.m. today.
“Hey hey, ho ho, it’s back to school we want to go,” teachers chanted.
Their bargaining team entered the talks late Wednesday afternoon, in hopes of fulfilling that pledge.
A few hours later, parents gathered outside Central Junior High School to blast Evergreen Park School District 124 for its refusal to meet union demands, and its refusal to keep parents informed.
“Part of the reason that we’re here tonight is the deafening silence unfortunately coming from the school board, in terms of the negotiations,” Tim Scanlon said. “Of course, our main concern are what’s right behind us. Our kids are out of school; 1,800 kids have been out of school now for six days.”
One working parent said she wants to ask the school board what to do with her kids.
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“I have three kids. They’re at Beverly Arts Center, who is offering daycare $40 a day; times three, that’s $120 a day. I can’t afford it,” Amy Hadad said.
Frustrated mother Yolanda Smith said, “The word I want to use is shameful, of what the board is doing to the teachers. They want the hardest-working people, but they want to pay them less.”
Parents have also sent a letter to the school board, asking the board to do all it can to settle the contract dispute quickly and end the strike.