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Murphysboro teachers union files intent to strike notice

MURPHYSBORO (WSIL) — The teachers union at Murphysboro Community Unit School District #186 will file an intent to strike notice Thursday with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.

The notice allows the Murphysboro Education Association, a union which represents teachers, counselors, nurses, and social workers in the district, to legally strike in 10 calendar days. 

Teachers could leave the classroom and head to the picket lines as soon as Oct. 1. 

A news release from the Illinois Education Association quotes MEA lead negotiator Catlin Langellier, saying a strike is a last resort for the union.

"We would much rather be with our students,” Langellier said. “And we cannot continue to lose good, quality educators to neighboring districts. It’s unacceptable. We need to be competitive. Our students, our schools and our community are worth fighting for.”

Langellier referenced rising out-of-pocket costs and increased workloads outside of the classroom as reasons contributing to the latest escalation in contract negotiations. 

“It’s no surprise we’re losing teachers," Langellier said. "A dozen have left in the past two years alone. We are in the middle of a statewide teacher shortage. We need to start prioritizing attracting and retaining high-quality teachers so we can provide the best education possible to our students.” 

The next mediation session between MEA and the Murphysboro Board of Education is scheduled for Monday, September 23. 

Carbondale Elementary School District #95 is also facing a possible strike by teachers. The union posted its last, best offer to the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board on September 11, giving union members the ability to strike within 14 days.

This story will be updated.

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