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Another Day Passes Without Contract, Loans May Be Forthcoming

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 377

Continuing-Coverage

The issues under contention are dwindling according to multiple sources.

Negotiations continued for several hours Wednesday after a mediation marathon on Tuesday between District 205 and the GEA, but there is still no contract resolution.

Salary has been taken off the table in the contract dispute, although the specific details of what remains have been few and far between.

Because no contract agreement has been reached, the GEA has advised its membership they can now turn in loan paperwork to bridge an anticipated salary gap. The first pay period of the year is scheduled for Friday.

GEA Spokesperson Tami Qualls tells WGIL the loans are a support system.

“If they don’t choose to use it at this time they can use it the next pay,” says Qualls.

The Board and the GEA plan to meet with a mediator present on Tuesday of next week.

GEA members are not receiving paychecks while the teacher strike is ongoing. Loan payments would not start for a period of six months, but the interest is covered by the Illinois Education Association.

“We’re not asking for money, they’ve told us they have no money, we’re asking for fair language with the recall rights and just cause that they would have reasonable cause for dismissal,” says Qualls.

According to a release on the GEA’s website, the union is encouraging those most in need to file their loan paperwork with Heritage Credit Union first.

Union members can seek multiple loans to bridge their pay gap if the strike continues for an extended period.

“Over 600 people in the membership, if everybody takes advantage of that, that’s an awful lot of loans to process in one day for the institution that is offering them,” says Qualls.

Mediation is still thought to be able to take place through digital means.

GEA members still have time allotted on their parade permit recently filed with the City of Galesburg’s Police Department.