CHICAGO (CBS) — After a month-long strike by teachers in Waukegan, teachers approved a new contract that should allow classes to resume next week.
The vote was announced around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, with 86 percent of voting teachers approving the contract.
The teachers will return to work on Friday, with students coming back on Monday, which comes as a relief to parents.
“I’m excited for my kids to go back to school because I had been giving them homework. And going to the library giving them books. And they kept saying Mom, we’re not in school,” said Waukegan mom Antionette Coleman.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports negotiators for Waukegan Community Unit School District 60 and the Waukegan Teachers’ Council met for nearly 14 hours Wednesday before coming to an agreement.
For 10 of those hours, Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery Chico shuttled ideas back and forth, speaking with both negotiating teams and school board members.
District 60 chief negotiator Tony Ficarelli said the two sides now have to put the bitterness behind them.
“It’s a happy day, finally, for the city of Waukegan, the students, parents, teachers; and they’re going to have to come together to heal, and I think they will be very successful in that endeavor,” he said.