Teachers in Winnebago could go on strike just before the school year starts.
Those teachers haven’t had a contract for a year. They say it’s because 33 teachers in the district are not at the level they should be given their years of experience. And that impacts their pay.
But board members say teachers agreed to that years ago in exchange for higher base pay up front. On Wednesday, the school board hosted an open forum to let the community know where negotiations stand with teachers. Both teachers and the board say they still haven’t met in the middle.
"A strike is on the table because we have filed our intent to strike, but I’m hopeful the board will continue to work with us and come to a tentative agreement that we can both ratify," said Sarah Meador, President of the Winnebago Education Association.
"There’s a little misconception that it’s only been, that we’ve been $45,000 or $59,000 apart for 17 months and that’s just not, the truth of the matter is over 17 months, we got to the point where we are now," said Christopher Schoeneweiss, Winnebago School Board President.
Both sides plan to get together again soon to continue working on a contract deal.