WILLOWBROOK – The Palisades Education Association (Palisades EA) and Community Consolidated School District 180 will meet for their first federally mediated bargaining session this afternoon. Dozens of Palisades EA teachers will wear red and rally together ahead of the mediation session.
“It’s really disheartening it’s come to this. What we’re asking for is reasonable and in line with our neighboring districts like Hinsdale, Westmont and Darien,” Palisades EA Spokesperson Kanisha Davis Evans said. “We know our administration can afford to pay us competitively. We go above and beyond for our students on so many levels. Investing in your teachers is an investment in your students and community.”
Palisades EA represents 58 teachers and other licensed professionals working in Community Consolidated School District 180. District 180 serves the nearly 450 students who attend Burr Ridge Middle School and Anne M. Jeans Elementary School.
“I grew up here. My entire family went to school here. My daughter went to school in this district. I love the Palisades community, but I know strong students mean strong schools and together we can build a strong community, too,” Davis Evans said. “Our students are struggling. We see that every day. We are doing everything we can to support them and lift them up, but if the district can’t figure out a way to make our wages competitive with neighboring districts, our students will lose. Our community will suffer.”
The two sides have been bargaining since the beginning of June. Palisades EA is working without a contract. Their current contract expired on June 30.
More than 50 Palisades EA members plan to wear red and rally at 3:30 p.m. at Burr Ridge Middle School (15W451 91st St., Burr Ridge). Federal mediation will begin at 4 p.m.
At 135,000 members strong, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) is the largest union in Illinois. The IEA represents PreK-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty and support staff, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.