WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Galesburg Teachers Ready to Walk

Aug 1, 2014

Members of the Galesburg Education Association voted “overwhelmingly” Thursday night to file a 10-day intent-to-strike notice.

Spokeswoman Tami Qualls said the two sides have been meeting with a federal mediator since June.  They plan to meet again on August 11 and 12.

Members of the GEA head into Thursday night's meeting. They voted to walk off the job if no contract agreement is reached by August 12.

Qualls said if no agreement is reached after those meetings, teachers will strike the next day, which is the first day they’re scheduled to report for work.

Classes are scheduled to begin on August 14.

It's in both of our interests to get it settled.

“We want to resolve the contract,” said Qualls, but she added certain issues must be resolved. She said teachers deserve a pay raise and they want a guarantee they won’t be fired without just cause.

She said the GEA includes more than 600 members.

Meanwhile, Superintendent Bart Arthur said there are a few different ways the district could proceed if there is a walkout.

“You can try to run the district with subs and with everybody that is willing to work. You can shut down the building where people lose their pay and insurance during that time and we just hope it doesn’t get to that,” said Arthur.

“It’s in both of our interests to get it settled.”