MIDLOTHIAN– The Bremen High School District 228 Joint Faculty Association (BHSD228-JFA) set a strike date for Mon., Jan. 27. At this time, there are no scheduled bargaining dates. The last time BHSD228-JFA and the District 228 Board of Education (BOE) met to negotiate was Dec. 4.
“We cannot reach a deal unless the board comes back to the table to negotiate. We don’t want to go on strike. What we want is to reach a fair contract agreement that puts our students first,” BHSD228-JFA President Greg Fitch said.
District 228 has four schools: Bremen High School, Hillcrest High School, Oak Forest High School and Tinley Park High School, and serves more than 5,000 students. D228-JFA has 353 members who are teachers, social workers, counselors, nurses, psychologists, librarians and speech and language pathologists.
“We know parents will need as much time as possible to make arrangements for their children if we are forced to go on strike,” Fitch said. “The last thing any of us want is to be pushed out of our classrooms and onto the picket line. That said, we are willing to fight for our students, our schools and our community.”
BHSD228-JFA has been working without a contract since July 31 and negotiating with the BOE since December 2018. The BHSD228-JFA publicly filed its intent to strike and publicly posted its last contractual offer to the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB) on Oct. 23, paving the way for a strike.
This week, BHSD228-JFA is holding several community forums to help educate parents, students and community members about the ongoing contract negotiations:
- Thurs., Jan. 16 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Markham Public Library (16640 Kedzie Ave., Markham)
- Thurs., Jan. 16 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Tinley Park Library (7851 Timber Dr., Tinley)
- Tues., Jan. 21 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the St. Stephens Lutheran Church (14700 Kildare Ave., Midlothian)
- Wed., Jan. 22 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Oak Forest City Hall (15440 S. Central Ave., Oak Forest)
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.