St. Louis (KSDK) - The Edwardsville School Board is gridlocked with local teachers in contract negotiations for the coming school year.
The board recently offered their latest contract to the Edwardsville Education Association (EEA), the local Illinois teacher's union. An estimated 77% of teachers in the EEA voted to reject the proposal and authorize a strike, just two weeks before the beginning of school.
Sources say that offer was a salary freeze for the first year, followed by a 2-to-3% raise based on seniority for the second and third year.
Union reps say it's not about the salary, it's about concessions.
And that the primary issue for the teachers is an increase in class sizes.
The EEA says no official strike date has been set at this time.
NewsChannel 5's Education Reporter Sharon Stevens is following the latest on their discussions, and she'll have an update during Thursday evening's editions of NewsChannel 5.
Thursday morning, the school board sent NewsChannel 5 a copy of the letter they are sending home to parents. Here is a sampling of how it begins:
As a result of the teachers' refusal to ratify the Board's contract offer on Wednesday, August 1, we realize that there may be concerns regarding the start of school.
The expectation is that teachers will report to work on August 14, 2012, and students will start school on August 15. While the teachers voted on a ten-day notice of intent to strike, the earliest that they can strike is Thursday, August 23, per the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act.
The District is continuing to prepare for the start of school, including student registration, and will be available to meet with parents regarding your children."