A negotiation session between Waukegan teachers union officials and school District 60 representatives will be held Monday in an effort to resolve a strike that began last Thursday.
Monday classes will be cancelled in the district as a result of the teachers strike.
The school board maintains that the union's proposal would financially hurt the district.
"That’s what’s at stake here – the financial solvency of the Waukegan school system,” the Waukegan District 60 board said in a Friday statement. “While the union has spent much time talking about a surplus, the 9 percent salary increase the teachers propose this coming year and the 7 percent increases they have asked for next year and the following year would bankrupt the district.”
An official with the Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504, however, said the union does not believe the claim that its proposal would bankrupt the district. The union's president Mike McGue said the school district currently has a $37 million surplus, up from a $2.7 million deficit four years ago.
The union is also upset because a negotiation session did not take place over the weekend.
"It's frustrating. It's hard to fathom they let 1,700 kids and 2,000 employees sit out over the weekend because they are too busy to negotiate — we certainly could have negotiated Friday, Saturday or right now," McGue told the Chicago Tribune on Sunday.