MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - Murphysboro Education Association members and District 186 community members attended the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 6:15 p.m. to show support for the negotiations team.
The Association said not much progress was made in a mediation meeting between the Board and MEA on Monday night, Sept. 23. Another mediation meeting was held the following Thursday.
According to officials with Illinois Education Association, the Association filed its intent to strike notice with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.
This involves teachers from across the entire district.
Officials said MEA includes 152 teachers, counselors, nurses and social workers in District 186.
The notice allows MEA to legally strike in 10 calendar days, according to education officials. The earliest date educators could walk is Tuesday, Oct. 1.
Members of the MEA voted to authorize a strike.
“A strike is MEA’s absolute last resort. We would much rather be with our students,” MEA lead negotiator Catlin Langellier said. “And we cannot continue to lose good, quality educators to neighboring districts. It’s unacceptable. We need to be competitive. Our students, our schools and our community are worth fighting for.”
In March, the association requested to begin bargaining for a fair contract.
According to offiicals, the current contract expired on Aug. 12.
The Murphysboro Education Association submitted the organization’s last contract offer to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
“More than three quarters of our membership is spending upwards of $250 out of their own pockets on school supplies. The majority of our educators are doing school work on their own time,” Langellier said. “It’s no surprise we’re losing teachers. A dozen have left in the past two years alone. We are in the middle of a statewide teacher shortage. We need to start prioritizing attracting and retaining high-quality teachers so we can provide the best education possible to our students.”
District 186 serves 2,047 students.