ADDISON – Today, the Addison Teachers’ Association (ATA) voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. The ATA tallied the count this evening. The vote gives the ATA bargaining team the authority to call a strike.
“This vote protects our right to use our collective voice to advocate for our students and our members,” ATA co-President Allison Andrikokus said. “We need to be able to keep high quality teachers in this district. Over the last 5 years, we’ve lost about 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. Places like Elmhurst, Lombard, Villa Park and Bensenville compensate teachers better. We are going to continue to lose high-quality educators unless we become competitive. Investing in our teachers means you’re investing in your students and your community.”
ATA has 327 members who are teachers, speech pathologists, librarians (media specialists), social workers and psychologists. ATA has been negotiating for a new contract with the Addison School District 4 Board of Education (BOE) since February. In December, the ATA 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, 66 percent of which are Hispanic.
“We will continue to work with the board and come to an agreement that puts students first,” Andrikokus said. “We are 90 percent women AND we are some of the lowest paid teachers in all of DuPage County. We deserve to be fairly compensated for our work, just like our colleagues in other districts. But instead of working with us at the bargaining table, the board of education is bullying us in public and on social media.”
To legally go on strike, ATA also would need to give a 10-day intent to strike notice to Addison School District 4, the superintendent and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB). At the time of this release, ATA had not yet filed an intent to strike notice.
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.