UPDATE: Teachers in the Prospect Heights District 23 are on strike. All classes are canceled for Wednesday. The members of the Prospect Heights Education Association could not come to terms on a new contract and declared a strike just before 12 a.m. Wednesday. They say the District 23 Board of Education refused to counter their last offer and canceled a meeting for Wednesday evening. The district posted this message on their web site:
PHEA chose to strike at 12:35 am on September 16. The Board of Education is extremely disappointed and remains willing to negotiate for a fair and equitable contract.
The teachers say the strike will be a minimum of two days. All classes and extracurricular activities are canceled.
PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Parents and students in the northwest suburbs are on the edge of their seats tonight as they await to see if District 23 will be on strike or not starting tomorrow.
The district largely serves Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Prospect Heights and Wheeling
Teachers are demanding a pay raise. With the help of a federal mediator, he two parties are still miles apart. $500,000 apart.
150 teachers serving 1500 kids and four schools from pre-elementary through 8th grade voiced their displeasure over an expired contract that union members say doesn't pay them enough. At last check they demanded a 4.5% raise each year for three years.
District 23 has countered, but won't say by how much.
The union says members are paid well below other teachers in the area. And teacher retention is only 80%. They say a strong contract from a school with $8 million in reserves can and should deliver this time.
Teachers are anxious, the union claims. And they're not alone. Students are worried too about keeping up in the classroom and with school activities that have already been cancelled for the week starting Wednesday.
If negotiations continue past 10 p.m. students and parents will be notified at 5 a.m. tomorrow about whether or not there is a strike.
Three area park districts are prepared to receive 1500 students tomorrow should there be a strike.
To follow updates on the latest in negotiations, go here.