Galesburg teachers and district battle over salary, schedules and security

As the first day of school approached, there was still no deal between the district and about 675 teachers and para-professionals in the Galesburg School District.

Both sides were at odds over salary, schedules and security, among other issues.  Complicating the matter is a $2.7-million deficit for the district.

“We know this is a tough spot for everyone, and we don’t want to come to a strike,” said teacher Brad Bennewitz.  “But, we believe in the issues that our teachers are in there fighting for us, and we support them.”

Back on July 31, 2014, the district’s teachers approved an ‘intent to strike’ vote. Two days earlier, the teachers held an informational picket outside Galesburg High School.

Dozens of teachers cheered when negotiators arrived for talks at district headquarters Monday, August 11, 2014.  Both sides were set to meet again Tuesday morning, August 12.

If they cannot reach a deal by 1 p.m. Tuesday, teachers will vote that evening to possibly give final approval to a strike.

Teachers were due back at work in Galesburg on Wednesday, August 13 and classes were scheduled to begin Thursday.

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