Classes were cancelled again Monday in Waukegan District 60 as a result of the teachers' strike, which began October 2.
Representatives from the Waukegan Teachers' Council and the town's school district have not met since contract talks broke down last Wednesday. In a statement today, the teachers union said the two sides have agreed to meet for a contract negotiation session Tuesday morning.
In a statement posted on its website on Sunday, the school district said the teachers union "walked away from the negotiating table" last week, "while claiming that they wanted to give the board 'time to reflect.'"
The union argues that the "the district’s constant stalling of negotiations" led to the breakdown in negotiations.
"The board is not in attendance at the table, and the district representatives have to continuously go back to the board for approval on agreements," a release provided by the Illinois Federation of Teachers reads. "Although the union believes the board's latest offer does not reflect an effort to end the strike, they have agreed to meet again with the board tomorrow."
Earlier today, striking Waukegan teachers and their supporters marched to the district's administrative offices, where they held a rally.
Waukegan Teachers' Council President Kathy Schwarz issued the following statement today:
We are proud of the community support that we have as the strike continues. We hoped the district would have used this break to have serious talks with the board about an offer that will end this strike.
The board issued a statement on its website claiming that both insurance and length of contract have been agreed upon, which was news to us because as of Wednesday, both issues were still on the table. Through mediators, the board sent us an offer that does not fall in line with the website statement.
Although the board still had yet to show they take negotiations seriously, the union has agreed to go back to table tomorrow at 9 a.m.
We will continue our campaign to spread the truth through Waukegan while on strike. Our members will be going door-to-door, church-to-church, community center-to-community center, talking to voters about negotiations and asking for feedback. We understand that the district represents the will of the board just as we’re representing our teachers and the community they serve at the table.
Supporters of Waukegan teachers are set to hold a “social media rally" Monday night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. using the the hashtag #WaukeganStrong.
Read more about the teachers' strike here.