Teacher Strike Continues
No School March 8 and March 9
PROVISO 209 TEACHER STRIKE CONTINUES —
NO CLASSES ON TUESDAY, MARCH 8 and WEDNESDAY MARCH 9
Hello Proviso parents and students,
Unfortunately, today’s negotiations between Proviso District 209 and the Proviso Teachers Union (PTU), which represents District 209’s approximately 280 educators, did not result in an agreement. Classes and extra-curricular activities will be cancelled tomorrow, Tuesday, March 8 and Wednesday, March 9. Athletics, which are primarily coached by non-union employees, will continue as scheduled. We are continuing to work toward resolution through informal communications with the union, both directly and through the federal mediator. Our next scheduled negotiation with the federal mediator is planned for Wednesday, March 9.
It is our understanding that the president of the American Federation of Teachers will be in town on Wednesday to join Proviso District 209 teachers on the picket line and draw media attention to their demands. It’s not surprising to us that the president of the national teachers’ union has an interest in and wants to show support for District 209 teachers given that this is the first teacher strike in Illinois post-COVID. However, the timing of this visit makes us question whether PTU truly wanted to reach agreement during our session today.
During today’s session, PTU did present a new salary proposal in which they are demanding a 12.75% increase over the three-year contract (4% in the first year, 4.25% in second year, 4.5% in third year). However, based on the District’s current proposal of 9% increases over the three year contract, the parties remain more than $1.34 million apart. The District remains firm in our position that salary increases at the level demanded by the union are neither sustainable, nor in the best fiscal interest of our parents and other local resident taxpayers.
The Board of Education is grateful for the many calls and emails urging both parties to resolve their differences and to put the needs of our students first by reaching agreement on a fair and fiscally responsible multi-year contract that compensates our teachers fairly and competitively for their work, while operating within the financial means of the District and advancing the best interests of all District 209 stakeholders, including our students, parents and community.
To support our families in ensuring that our students are safe and productive during this unfortunate disruption to their education, the District will notify all parents, students and staff about the status of our negotiations via robocalls and emails as soon as possible following our negotiations on Wednesday, March 9, as well as with a posting on the District website. If it is after 10:00 p.m., we will send emails only.
The District will provide pick-up breakfast and lunch meal service for students starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 8. Information on pick-up locations and hours is posted on the District.
Mr. Rodney Alexander
President, Board of Education
Proviso Township High Schools District 209