Around 170 teachers picketed throughout the city of Dixon. Their strike started early Thursday morning, February 28, 2013. Negotiations will be taking place and teachers are hoping to have something resolved.
Kimberly Borke has always wanted to be a teacher. She’s been teaching for 17 years and seven years in Dixon.
“My father was a teacher and I got to see firsthand the difference that he made in people’s lives and that’s been my goal all along the way,” says Kimberly.
Teachers say they reached their breaking point back in November when a financial package was handed to them.
“Enough is enough and it’s unfortunate that this is the final result that we have, but once again with the strike hopefully that can be resolved,” says Dixon Education Association’s lead negotiator, Dolph Ricks.
In that package was a 24 percent pay cut, “everything they were offering to us was pretty much a negative financial consequent or just deleting items in our contract that are very near and dear to our hearts as teachers,” says Dolph.
Their cost of insurance went up too, which Dolph says they simply can’t afford.
So for now there’s no class for students and no paychecks for teachers.
“I have two teenagers that I’m paying for, college and insurance things like that for them. We have tried to plan ahead as much as possible, but without knowing how long you have to go, it’s hard to do,” says second grade teacher, Lisa Gardner-Kinsella.
Teachers are hoping to get back in their classrooms sooner than later.
“The teachers are willing to stay there as long as we possibly can to come up with the resolution,” says Dolph.
If an agreement isn’t reached tonight, teachers say they are willing to negotiate throughout the weekend to come up with a resolution.