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Murphysboro teachers ready to strike Thursday

UPDATE 9/30/19 AT 8:00 P.M.

MURPHYSBORO (WSIL) — The Murphysboro Education Association (MEA) set a strike date for Thursday, October 3. The MEA says there are no negotiations set, and says it is currently waiting for the Murphysboro CUSD 186 Board to provide its availability.

ORIGINAL STORY 9/30/19 AT 6:28 P.M.

MURPHYSBORO (WSIL) — Monday afternoon, Murphysboro Education Association (MEA) members voted overwhelmingly to reject Murphysboro School District 186 Board of Education’s (BOE) last, best offer, paving way for a strike.

No date has been set, but the MEA says it may happen in the coming days.

MEA spokeswoman Lisa Shields released the following statement:

Our members spoke loudly when they voted overwhelmingly to reject the Board’s last best offer. We remain willing to negotiate and hopeful a strike can be avoided. We are asking the board to put students first and come back to the table. We want what is best for our community. Although we can legally go on strike as soon as tomorrow – no strike date has been set. The message to parents tonight is a simple one: a strike is a real possibility. We want parents to have as much time as possible to make arrangements for their children in the event of a strike. Please know that a strike may happen within the coming days. We will update everyone as soon as we have more information.

The Murphysboro CUSD 186 Board also released a statement to News 3. We have included part of it below.

The Board of Education of Murphysboro CUSD 186 was disappointed that the Teachers Union has reportedly voted down the Board’s last, best, and final offer. At this point the parties appear to be at an impasse. The Teachers Union has not informed the district when a strike will occur. School will be closed during the teachers union strike. As previously announced, all classes, athletic contests & practices, as well as any school-sponsored activities and events will be canceled until the teachers strike is over.

The Board of Education wants to be clear:  the board does not want a strike and the teachers union did not have to go on strike. The Board’s final offer provides each teacher in the District with an annual raise of more than $2,000 per year, every year. The Board’s proposal – which is still on the table – gives an average raise of 4% per year, per teacher, every year for the next three years. A more precise analysis and additional details can be found by reviewing the "4 year cost by teacher" document found at this link.

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