BOURBONNAIS – The Bourbonnais Education Association (BEA) is urging parents and community members to take action and contact the Bourbonnais Elementary School District 53 Board of Education (BOE) and Superintendent Adam Ehrman to ask them to “Say Yes to Less.”
BEA is currently running a series of ads on WVLI-FM and WXNU-FM. Listeners hear BEA President Lauren Lundmark explaining the current two-year contract offer proposed by the BEA bargaining team will actually cost taxpayers less money. She then goes on to urge community members to call board members and tell the board to avoid the strike by taking the deal and saying yes to less.
Financial comparisons show the BEA’s two-year deal will actually cost almost $27,000 less than the first two years of the BOE’s most current offer.
“We think this is really important information the community needs to know. We want everyone to know we can do the right thing for students, save taxpayer dollars and help make teachers’ salaries more competitive,” BEA President Lauren Lundmark said. “This has gone on long enough. The board and Superintendent Ehrman need to take the deal.”
BEA also launched a click-to-call hotline and text campaign. Community members can sign up to get a phone call and hear a message from Lundmark. Callers are then patched through to Superintendent Ehrman’s office so they can tell Ehrman to: “Say yes to less.”
“We’ve had such a tremendous outpouring of support from the community. They’ve been amazing advocates for us, and we are so grateful they’re standing with us,” Lundmark said. “We figured setting up this hotline will make it even easier for our supporters to get involved.”
The BEA’s tentative strike date is this Thurs., March 4. BEA is hosting a “Say YES to LESS” rally at 4:15 p.m. on Tues., March 2. Supporters will begin gathering in the parking lot behind the Circle K (655 N. Convent St., Bourbonnais). The last negotiation session before the strike date is immediately after the rally at 5:30 p.m.
BEA represents 167 teachers, speech pathologists, psychologists and social workers who serve more than 2400 students. The district and BEA began contract negotiations in March 2020. BEA is currently working without a contract and has been since the beginning of the school year.
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.