Galesburg parent holds picket against teacher strike

One Galesburg mother is fed up with the teachers’ strike and held a picket line with her four kids across the street from Galesburg High School.

“I want to see my kids in school, I want to see the other kids in school,” said Samantha Long, a mother of four kids in the Galesburg school district. “There’s a lot of parents around here that counted on school [starting].”

The Galesburg Teachers Association (GEA) went on strike Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 when they could not reach a settlement with Board of Education.

The teachers are asking for things like higher salaries, clearer language in their contracts, and safer working conditions in the schools.

We’re dealing with mold, we’ve had a lot of roof leaking, there are tiles that are up off the floor and there’s asbestos underneath them,” said Tami Qualls, spokesperson for the GEA.

“We want  to be in the classroom and we want to be treated fairly because if we don’t have a fair contract that is comparable and competitive to any of the other schools in our area then we can’t attract quality educators to our community,” said Qualls.

However Long said she is disappointed in the teachers because they are asking for money the district doesn’t have.

“A lot of teachers deserve the raise but they know more than anybody else, [that] there really is [no money] left, there’s nothing left to give them,” said Long.

A federal mediator is scheduled to come to Galesburg on Tuesday, August 19th. If a settlement still isn’t reached, the teachers are prepared to continue their strike and hold public forums for concerned parents the following nights.



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