Members of the Rockford Education Association voted Monday night to go on strike Thursday, March 29th unless there is a contract agreement before then.
Hundreds of teachers filled the Coronado Performing Arts Center to take the vote, which comes after 11 months of negotiations. Teachers have been working under terms of a contract which expired in July. Classes are in session Tuesday and the School Board meets Tuesday night. The Board is expected to review the latest proposals from the union.
REA President Karen Bieschke talked with reporters after Monday's vote. Listen to her comments above
Meanwhile, the school district says it has been preparing for the possibility of a teacher walkout. Last week, the district held information sessions for parents. They were told what would happen if teachers decided to strike. Parts of that contingency plan can be found through the district's website. Superintendent, Robert Willis, says additional information will be posted there. Meanwhile, Willis says they can't guarantee any lost days would be made up. He also says teachers who still plan on showing up for work will be allowed inside their buildings, and will receive full pay and benefits. Those who walk the picket line won't get paid and will receive COBRA notices regarding their health insurance. Willis calls the union's decision to strike "detrimental to students, parents, our community and the District."
Strike information from the Rockford School District's website can be found here: