It’s back to the bargaining table for striking Galesburg teachers and the school district.
Both sides resumed contract talks with a federal mediator on Tuesday, August 19, 2014.
The union held a rally across the street from Galesburg High School on Monday. With pounding drums and a sea of blue shirts, hundreds of striking teachers rallied.
“We’re not going to be burdened and bitter,” said Galesburg teacher Tami Qualls. “We’re not going to be softened and weakened. We are going to stand firm.”
As teachers picketed for another day outside District 205 offices, both sides hope that Tuesday’s talks can hammer out a settlement.
“The reality is that we’re going to have to settle sometime,” said Superintendent Bart Arthur. “And when we do, what are the issues then?”
“We’re willing to have some leeway with the GEA team,” Qualls added. “So that we get these talks done and agreement reached.”
Despite the show of solidarity at Monday’s rally, both sides know that the clock is ticking. This strike is taking a toll on the community.
“We have a real good support group in our community, and I can see it dwindling,” Arthur said. “It will take some time to rebuild that.”
Tuesday night, the union is holding an informational meeting for parents in the district, if the strike continues. That meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Carl Sandburg College Lecture Room C102.
The union will do the same thing Wednesday and Thursday nights if the strike continues throughout the week. Wednesday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Galesburg Public Library. Thursday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church Community Room.