East Moline Teachers Approve Intent-To-Strike
Teachers in the East Moline School District are one step closer to leaving the classroom and setting up picket lines.
Monday afternoon, members of the East Moline Education Association approved an intent-to-strike, with more than a two-thirds majority voting "yes." That means union leaders can call a strike with ten days notice.
Despite the vote, the union says it still hopes to avoid a strike. It represents about 270 teachers and other employees in the district.
Kristin Humphries, superintendent of the East Moline School District, says members of the EMEA walked out of a meeting last Friday after asking for a 1.7 percent raise along with a "step increase."
"The board is offering another percent on the entire base, which would get everyone to 4.6 percent, or they're offering 3 percent to people with a lot of longevity that are off the schedule," Humphries says. "In light of today's economy and in light of our budget, our board's been doing the same numbers that I just quoted for the last five years as far as individuals on our teaching scale and it's important to our board to keep that because they know the value our teachers and our aides bring to our students."
The two sides began working on a new contract last spring, and have met with mediators several times, including last Friday.