NAPERVILLE, Ill. — A teachers strike Monday in Naperville District 203 would affect 22 schools, and would be the district’s first teachers strike in 30 years.
Teachers put on a show of solidarity before for the school day began at Naperville Central High School. They walked around the campus, then walked in together.
Union President Dan Iverson says authorizing a strike was an incredibly hard decision. He says he’s more optimistic today then he was at this time last week.
Iverson says the bargaining team is ready to take this over the finish line.
A walk out would affect more than 16,000 students who just started classes last week.
The contract for 1,500 teachers expired at the end of June. Their union, Naperville Unit Education Association, and the district have been negotiating since January.
The union said this week an agreement has been reached regarding family leave. Following childbirth or adoption, employees will be able to take their full 12 weeks of FMLA leave and get paid the entire time using accumulated sick days.
The union is proposing for higher pay in their compensation package, arguing that more is being demanded of them in the classroom. The two sides have been without a contract since June 30.
Some parents are expressing mixed feelings about a strike, especially after the past year and a half.
WGN News has reached out to District 203’s superintendent for comment.
A message to parents on the district’s website states it is committed to a “fair and fiscally responsible” agreement.