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Union Says No Lawsuit Filed Against School District

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 661

Galesburg Education Association spokesperson Tami Qualls speaks to reporters Friday morning.

Galesburg Education Association spokesperson Tami Qualls speaks to reporters Friday morning.

UPDATED 12:32pm  The Galesburg Education Association says despite published reports to the contrary, they are NOT filing a lawsuit against the Galesburg School District, while the administration says it’s still a legal matter.

The GEA said this morning they’ve filed a complaint with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, claiming unfair labor practices, after a contract proposal prior to the GEA’s strike was released to the media including WGIL, prior to it being able to be bargained.  But the union says it’s not a lawsuit that was filed.

Regardless of what’s been filed, GEA spokesperson and WGIL sportscaster Brad Bennewitz says it’s something teachers didn’t want to do.

“Our team debated long and hard about whether they really should do this or not,” Bennewitz said.  “It was sleepless nights before they decided that they had to go ahead and do this.  Really, more than anything, it’s to make sure these kinds of practices don’t continue in the future.  No contract is going to be made infinitely.  At some point, we’re going to be negotiating again.”

District-205 Superintendent Bart Arthur declined to comment, saying it’s still something that could be dealt with in the courts.

The union also again addressed the issue of just cause for teacher termination, and the proposed new teacher evaluation system, based on state law mandating it.   They contend the issue can be bargained as has done in other districts, something the district disputes.

CLICK HERE to hear the full GEA press conference, as broadcast live on WGIL this morning.