ADDISON – Today, the Addison Teachers’ Association (ATA) and Addison community members will walk in support of students and teachers for a fair contract. The unity walk comes after negotiations stalled with Addison School District 4.
“We won’t stop fighting until we get what’s best and fair for our students, our schools and our communities,” ATA co-President Allison Andrikokus said. “We need to be able to keep high-quality teachers in this district. In the past five years, we’ve lost on average 23 teachers a year. They come here, they learn, we train them, and they leave. Our students suffer because they are unable to build long-lasting relationships with their educators.”
ATA has 327 members who are teachers, speech pathologists, librarians, social workers and psychologists. In December, the association met with the district to plan for bargaining, which began in February. ATA’s current contract expired on June 30. District 4 serves 4,059 students.
“Per pupil spending is far below the state average and the lowest in DuPage County. This is completely unacceptable. The board needs to start putting students first,” Andrikokus said. “We are simply asking for what is average pay in the DuPage County. Without it, we risk losing the ability to attract and retain high-quality teachers, which means our students lose, our schools lose, and our communities lose.”
ATA’s next mediation session with the board of education is set for today, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m. ATA members, parents, students and community members will walk along Lake Street and Kennedy Drive in a show of solidarity for their bargaining team members. ATA members will begin gathering in the parking lot at 236 W. Lake St. in Addison today at 4:30 p.m.
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.