Teachers’ strike could last multiple days, CAPA auditions canceled
Online Staff Report
Teachers in Rockford Public School District 205 could remain on strike for multiple days, according to reports.
Meantime, the district announced March 29 that Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) auditions scheduled for March 30-31 have been canceled. The auditions will be rescheduled after a resolution has been reached in teacher contract negotiations.
Rockford teachers began their strike Thursday, March 29, with teachers hitting picket lines at school buildings throughout the district. Negotiations between the Rockford teachers’ union — the Rockford Education Association (REA) —and District 205 are ongoing.
The strike brings to a halt all school functions, with school, sporting events and other activities all canceled. More than 28,000 students are enrolled in the district.
The REA voted 1,500-74 in favor of the strike March 26. Teachers have been without a contract since July 2011. The REA and the district have met more than 50 times over the past 11 months, but have failed to reach an agreement.
About 20 members of the Rockford Tea Party gathered at the district’s administration building, 501 Seventh St., March 29, to protest the teachers’ strike.
In a press release, the Rockford Tea Party stated: “The Rockford school teachers are unhappy with the school district offer to increase their salaries between 2.5 and 9 percent over the next three years and with the additional requirement to pay $700 extra a year for family plans on their Cadillac health insurance plans. An analysis of the top 800 teachers shows that they currently make about $82,000 yearly, on average. That is half the teachers in the district. A strike tomorrow will hurt children and hurt this community. Our community is already facing devastating economic conditions. Many people are very upset about this looming strike, which will put many families in an even more difficult position. Please join us in voicing your disapproval with these teachers’ lack of compassion for the residents and taxpayers of this community.
“If not us … who? If not tomorrow … when?
“We, the Tea Party, are the only organization standing up to teachers’ unions.”
Posted March 29, 2012
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