Contract negotiations put start of school on hold in Galesburg

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The start of the school year is on hold in Galesburg as the teachers strike awaiting a contract settlement.

The first day for the 2014-2015 school year was scheduled for Thursday, August 14, but that was put on hold as the Galesburg Education Association (GEA) and the Board of Education failed to make an agreement.

The Board of Education reportedly held an emergency meeting Wednesday evening, August 13. Teachers say they're fighting for job security and changes to working conditions.

“This forces the extension of the strike, prolongs the time that students are out of the classroom, and further delays all athletic activities…” said a GEA spokesperson. “The GEA is once again disappointed at the Board’s continued lack of effort to reach an agreement that produces the best education environment for our students, educators, and the community.”

The School Board's attorney notified the GEA that negotiations would resume the week of August 18, according to a GEA spokesperson.

“It’s just frustrating that we have to deal with this instead of getting the schools ready, but that’s the way it is,” said Galesburg Superintendent Bart Arthur.