ROXANA — The Roxana Education Association rejected the School Board’s labor agreement proposal Friday and authorized a strike.
Ric Stephenson, Region 6 director of the Illinois Education Association, said 100 of the union’s 133 members voted to authorize a strike. Of the total membership, 119 attended Friday’s meeting to vote on the district’s final offer.
Stephenson said the sticking points are vacancy language and pay raises. The district’s proposal calls for 3 percent salary increases per year over the four-year contract, plus adjustments for years of service.
“They feel that the district employees ought to be given some preference over outside employees in being able to be chosen for vacant positions,” Stephenson said.
Union members want to see their members receive pay increases in line with administrative salary increases, he said.
“It’s not a huge difference in regards to salary ... particularly in light of the refinery settlement, and the windfall amount of money the district is receiving,” he said.
Stephenson said he will send the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board a 10-day strike notice on Monday.
“What we would like to do is negotiate before that strike occurs, so it doesn’t impact students and testing and graduation,” he said.
The old contract expired June 30, 2014.
“They’ve been trying to get a contract with this administration and board for almost a year,” he said. “Everyone is fatigued.”
The district and union’s most recent offers are available at http://www.roxanaschools.org/pages/Roxana_CommunityUnit_SD/News/Teacher_Contract_Negotiations.
“In addition to its bargaining sessions, the district and the REA have participated in five mediations with a federal mediator,” Superintendent Debra K. Kreutztrager said in a press release Wednesday. “The district feels that its final offer is fair and recognizes the valuable contributions of its teachers, while at the same time being mindful of the district’s obligation to students, parents, and taxpayers to be fiscally responsible. We look forward to a mutual resolution.”