Geneva teachers could go on strike Tuesday if deal not reached

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GENEVA, Ill. — School could be out for thousands of kids in the far western suburbs.

Teachers in Geneva are preparing to hit the picket lines. A last-ditch round of negotiations took place Monday as both sides work to avoid a strike in Geneva.

If a deal is not reached by Monday evening, there will be no school for 5,800 students at nine schools.

Officials have been talking since February. Teachers have been working without a contract since August and they said they've about had it. Some parents have said the same thing.

The teachers' union, the Geneva Education Association, said the last proposal they saw from the school board was heavily-weighted in favor of new hires with a much smaller pay hike for experienced teachers. That, and what the union calls an antiquated schedule for determining salaries, are the two key issues. Unless something changes by later Monday evening, the teachers said they’re ready to walk.

“You’re in a classroom. You’re doing your regular work. You’re doing your regular prep, and it’s just this constant grinding feeling that, you know what? I should be given the respect and decency of doing this with a contract as opposed to doing this without,” Kevin Gannon, president of the Geneva Education Association, said.

As of 10 p.m., negotiations were still underway.

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