MURPHYSBORO – The Murphysboro Education Association (MEA) submitted the organization’s last contractual offer to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) for public posting. Once the IELRB posts the last offer from MEA and the Murphysboro Community Unit School District 186 Board of Education (BOE) on the IELRB website, MEA can choose to go on strike in 14 days. The decision by MEA comes after a lack of progress during negotiations.
“The last thing we want to do is go on strike, but we are willing to do whatever it takes to put our students first,” MEA lead negotiator Catlin Langellier said. “We have made financial concessions in the past in order to put our students first. The district is now standing on financially solid ground, and we’re asking them to make good on their promise to make us whole again.”
MEA includes 152 teachers, counselors, nurses and social workers. The association requested to begin bargaining for a fair contract in March. MEA’s current contract expired on Aug. 12. District 186 serves 2,047 students.
“We are losing good quality educators to neighboring districts. During the past two years, more than a dozen have left,” said Langellier. “This is unacceptable. We need to be competitive so we can attract and retain the best educators for our students.”
MEA is waiting on confirmation from the BOE to schedule their next mediation session. The next school board meeting is Sept. 24.
CESPA has requested new mediation dates from the federal mediator and the BOE.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.