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Bitter Divisions Remain in Teachers Strike

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 972

picket1UPDATE: 4:10 P.M. 8/14/14 The war of words continues between the Galesburg School District, and the Galesburg Education Association, as day two of a teachers strike continues.
Both District-205 and the GEA are continuing to claim the other side is misleading the public. The union says in a press release that they want to negotiate now, trying to meet yesterday afternoon and this morning with the school district, without the federal mediator present, as the union says one isn’t needed.

But Superintendent Bart Arthur says while he wants to meet as soon as possible, the mediator is necessary.

“They’re not required as of yet, but if the strike goes on they’re gonna be, so you know we’ve already started the process and we want to continue with the mediator because we have not made much movement with her s, I’d hate to think what it be like if we tried to do it without somebody.”

The GEA says the soonest the mediator can get here is Tuesday, while Arthur says he’s still waiting on the union to figure out what date works for them.

In regards to safety, Arthur says like the union, he wants schools safe for teachers and students alike.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Board of Education says they will make an offer that seeks to address safety concerns by adding language that employees are required to bring attention to unsafe or unhealthy situations. Alternative arrangements would be made if the work needs to continue, but the threat of health or safety can’t be immediately corrected.

Meantime, members of the Galesburg Silver Streaks Football Team joined the union in picketing outside the District-205 headquarters today, as they’ve been denied a waiver to allow them to continue to practice.