Mokena School Board President Hopeful on Strike
Talks will resume on Monday between School District 159 and the Mokena Teachers Association.
Mokena School District 159 Board President John Troy is hopeful the district and its teachers union can avoid a strike.
“I always thought talks could be resolved without a strike,” Troy said Wednesday after the Mokena Teachers Association decided Tuesday night to take the threat of a strike out of the equation for the time being.
Union spokesman Craig Martinus issued a release Tuesday night saying negotiations for a new contract would continue on Monday, Dec. 12. The teachers have been working without a contract since the previous pact expired over the summer.
The release cited “healthy and productive” talks with the school board. It was the first negotiating session since November.
On Wednesday, Martinus said there wasn't anything more to say until after talks resume on Monday.
The union last week approved intent-to-strike paperwork, but has not filed the paperwork with the state, which is required before teachers can go on strike.
The union represents more than 90 teachers and other staffers at the district.
“It was a good negotiating session,” said Troy. “It was a positive step and fruitful. I’m looking forward to the next negotiating session on Monday.”
He said a second negotiating session also is tentatively scheduled for next Thursday.
Troy said the main sticking points between the teachers and school board have been health benefits and the salary schedule.
The school board will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at Mokena Elementary School and a crowd is expected.