Contract Forces East St. Louis Teachers to Strike

ST. LOUIS, ILL. – Students have been standing alongside the picket lines since early October when 400 union teachers rejected a contract offer on September 29 and gave the school district two days to come up with a new agreement.

The district never responded to the union’s request to meet. The St. Louis Labor Tribune reported that nearly 200 high school students walked out of classes on September 30 in solidarity with the teachers.

“The district is insisting on proposals that would decrease the pay of new teachers and state over their entire careers,” the Local 1220 president and retired teacher Sharon Crockett said. “Their demand would double the amount of time it would take for a new teacher to receive the same amount of pay included in the last contract.”

The strike is simply an indicator of the larger problem nationwide. School districts refuse to give teachers raise.

The strike began to impact the community immediately. Parents and guardians had to take time from work or make other arrangements for children. Community centers provided lunches for those who usually get meals at schools.

“The district can’t afford to take another step back. The administration’s unnecessary demands will only make it harder to bring quality teachers and staff to our community. We only want what is fair for teachers and best for our students and community,” Crockett said. “We’re ready to talk with the board at any time to help make that happen.”

Source: PAI