Teacher Strike Continues

No School Tuesday, March 15-Thursday, March 17

Hello Proviso parents and students,

The District shares the concerns of our parents, teachers, and community about the duration of the current teacher strike (currently, six instructional days) and its impact on our students. Despite more than 20 formal negotiation sessions and many more hours of informal dialogue between Proviso District 209 and the Proviso Teachers Union throughout the weekend and today, it has become apparent that our differences have become increasingly difficult to settle. We continue to look for creative ways to bridge the more than $1 million gap between our salary proposals.

During negotiations on Friday, the District proposed a one-week “cooling off” period during which teachers and students would have returned to school as negotiations continue under the guidance of a federal mediator in the hopes of achieving resolution. Under this “cooling off” proposal, our students would have been the winners and neither side would have lost.

Unfortunately, the PTU has rejected this proposal. We are disappointed that the union refused to consider this option, even knowing that a continued strike will only further disadvantage our students after almost two years of learning loss due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. As a result, the teacher strike will continue, and classes will be canceled again Tuesday, March 15 – Thursday, March 17. Our next formal negotiation session with the federal mediator is scheduled for Thursday, March 17. However, informal negotiations and conversations between the parties, both directly and through the mediator will continue until then.

We are becoming increasingly concerned that, with Spring Break next week our students will have been out of school and without classroom instruction for over three weeks. If we don’t reach agreement on Thursday, it is our hope and expectation that PTU will agree to schedule additional negotiations throughout Spring Break.

The District remains committed to reaching agreement on a fiscally responsible multi-year contract that compensates our teachers fairly and competitively for their work. However, we must operate within the financial means of the District as we strive to advance the best interests of all District 209 stakeholders, including our students, parents and community.

For additional information on the status of negotiations, please visit the Proviso District 209 website, which also includes information on student breakfast and lunch service available for pick-up during the strike at no cost to our families.


Rodney Alexander

President, Board of Education