EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KSDK) – Starting Monday, Mount Olive Community Unit School District teachers will be on strike.
The teachers decided to strike Wednesday night and will hit the picket line at 7:30 a.m. Monday.
Negotiations between the teachers and the Board of Education broke down due to the elimination of the teacher retirement incentive and a two-tier salary schedule. According to NEA local president Marcia Schulte, the salary schedule would "create an inferior category of employment for all future teachers," which results in teachers being treated as second class.
In addition, according to IEA staff member Marcus Albrecht, the salary schedule for teachers hasn't been raised since 2009, even though administrators and other staff have had salary increases.
In a press release from the district, the Board of Education is disappointed in the news of an intent to strike.
The Board of Education has offered to pay a "Step and Lane" pay increase, which is an increase tied to the years of experience as well as how much education a teacher has, a 2 percent across the board pay increase, board paid monthly health insurance premium up to $475 for each teacher and a salary schedules for teachers who are hired after November 1. The board also offered a two percent annual increase toward a pension if a teacher is in the last four years of their career.
According to the board of education's press release, declining enrollment and declining revenues account for the firm and tight budget.
According to Illinois Education Association NEA, the Mount Olive district teachers have been working under an expired contract since the beginning of the school year.
If the teachers follow through to strike Monday, all classes, activities and sports will be cancelled. District buildings will remain open on a regular student attaendance day for day care to district students between kindergarten and sixth grade as well as for district administrators and non-certified employees and staff.
NewsChannel 5 will have more information on this story as it becomes available.