Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Strike authorized, but not imminent in D300 (Sun-Times Media)
CARPENTERSVILLE — If the clock started ticking down today, the teachers in Community Unit School District 300 still likely would be “about a month out” from striking, according to Mike Williamson, public relations chairperson for the Local Educators Association of District 300.
That comes after the nearly 1,300 members of LEAD overwhelmingly voted Sunday afternoon to authorize their leaders to strike, according to the union. And it comes just before the union is set to return to negotiations with the district Tuesday night.
And, District 300 school board member and spokesperson Joe Stevens said, that means “as long as we’re making progress, nothing changes.”
“I understand taking your strike vote is something that seems to be very popular with the teachers unions all around the area, so we are not alarmed by it, and it’s certainly within their right to do that,” Stevens said.
The vote makes teachers in the Carpentersville-area school district the latest to take similar action following the strike last month that spanned seven school days by teachers in Chicago. Teachers in Evergreen Park and Crystal Lake recently ended strikes, while teachers in Geneva declared an impasse Friday and those in Highland Park planned to walk out Tuesday.
And it follows shifts in tone over the past few weeks from both LEAD President Kolleen Hanetho and District 300 Board of Education President Anne Miller.
Hanetho said earlier this month, “If it comes to that (striking), it comes to that.”
Meantime, Miller issued a statement at last week’s school board meeting that raised the spectre of cutting staff and programs, as well as closing schools.
That statement was at least part of the reason the union decided to put the authorization to a vote this weekend, Williamson said.
“I think we were all pretty frustrated by Mrs. Miller’s statement last Wednesday because I think we felt it was threatening in a way that was unnecessary,” he said.
Of course, the chairperson admitted, “We understand a strike would be a pretty heavy threat on our part.”
For the rest of the story, read Strike authorized, but not imminent in D300.
Photo credit: Michael Smart for Sun-Times Media.