East Moline, IL January 20, 2017: After making every effort to settle a contract, the members of the East Moline Education Association were left with few options after bargaining broke down Friday evening.

“I can’t begin to express the frustration we’re all feeling at this point,” stated EMEA Co-President and Bargaining Team Member, Gina Cone. She added, “The EMEA bargaining team has dropped so many important items in an effort to reach agreement. We’ve reduced the amount of the raise we’ve asked for. And the Board continues to insist that they can’t afford to put a reasonable amount of money onto our salary schedules. We haven’t had any additional money added to our salary schedules since 2009. If they haven’t been able to contain costs in that amount of time, then it’s time to either get new leadership or close the doors of the schools. They can no longer expect for the men and women that work directly with our students every day to subsidize the District’s budget. They will have to find new ways to pay for their pet projects so that those in the trenches can get the raise we’ve earned.”

Members will meet after school on Monday, January 23rd to vote on an Intent to Strike. Cone explained, “We never wished to reach this point. We’ve tried to demonstrate to the District our resolve for a fair contract. It is too bad that we are being forced in this direction. Our last hope is that the District will finally wake up and realize what they are doing to our schools and our community and that we can reach an agreement without having to take the last, drastic step.”

If EMEA members approve the Intent to Strike vote, a strike date would not be set until February in order to meet state regulations.

The East Moline Education Association is a local affiliate of the Illinois Education Association and represents over 260 teachers, paraprofessionals, and secretaries in the East Moline School District.

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