Members of the Galesburg Education Association voted down the latest contract proposal from administrators Tuesday night.
That means there will be a longer than expected summer break for students. The district has canceled school until further notice.
Teachers picketed around Galesburg schools on Wednesday. Galesburg Education Spokeswoman Tami Qualls says it’s time for teachers to stand for what they believe is right.
“It’s not that we want to strike but we feel like we have been backed into a corner and there things that you know the items that we are standing for asking for are so significant that they have an impact not only on us but our community and students education," Qualls said.
Teachers did vote in favor of walking off the job. The union filed an intent-to-strike notice at the beginning of August.
Teachers and administrators spent most of the last two days meeting with a federal mediator but were unable to reach an agreement.
District Superintendent Bart Arthur says schools been canceled until further notice.
“We’ve had several meetings with administrative staff and other people will continue to work trying to make plans," Arthur said. "I feel like we are pretty well prepared it’s just disappointing because we were hoping we would get school started tomorrow and get going on the right path. But unfortunately the work stoppage will occur.”
Arthur says no future negotiations have been scheduled. But he hopes teachers and administrators are able to reach a deal soon.
Teachers also had difficulty with their last contract when they worked until November without an agreement.