FIRST REPORTED 1:50pm, UPDATED 4:42pm The Galesburg Education Association’s Negotiating Team was greeted with applause this morning as they prepared to enter the District 205 offices at the Lincoln school. About 4 hours of negotiating later, an agreeable contract was not reached between the two parties.
Members of the GEA will now gather this evening at First Lutheran Church in Galesburg to vote whether to accept the District’s latest offer.
Should the contract vote fail, a strike would officially commence at Galesburg’s various schools starting tomorrow.
GEA Chief Negotiator Luann Statham tells WGIL these talks have been weighing on them heavily.
“It’s too bad that it has to come down to this,” Statham said. “We feel what we’re asking for is fair, and something that the district can afford. A lot of it has to do with contract language. It’s not just about money.”
Even this morning, GEA Spokesperson Tami Qualls told WGIL that she was staying optimistic. “We’re hoping that in this short time, that maybe something — an agreement — can be reached that is workable for both sides. Lots of prayers, lots of support, lots of positive thoughts sent [the negotiators'] way.”
This would mark the first teacher strike in Galesburg in 37 years.
Disagreements over salary, firings, retirement, and safety have continued to remain sticking points in the negotiations.
No future mediations are planned at this time.
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