WESTVILLE – Dozens of Westville Education Association (WEA) members, along with parents and other community members, plan to pack the Westville Community Unit School District 2 board meeting tonight.
WEA and District 2 are now in federal mediation and have been bargaining since January. The teachers and support staff are currently working without a contract, which expired on June 30.
“The vast majority of our teachers and support staff have considered leaving. It’s really alarming when you think about it. We can’t even staff all our positions now. We’ve lost a half a dozen people since the start of the school year,” WEA Spokesperson Amy Pacot said. “Westville pays less than nearly every school district in the county, including Salt Fork, where several Westville teachers were hired this year.”
WEA represents 150 teachers and support staff working in District 2. The district serves the more than 1100 students who attend Westville Elementary and Middle School and Westville High School.
A recent survey of WEA members shows:
- 44% of Westville teachers either have an additional job or are considering getting one.
- 89% of Westville teachers spend their own money on supplies for their students, shelling out at least $150 with some paying over $450.
- Nearly 70% of Westville teachers have considered leaving the district.
- 74% of Westville support staff have considered leaving the district.
“We have teachers not only working one extra job, some of them need two extra jobs just to make ends meet. Several Westville teachers qualify for public assistance. The majority of Westville support staff are also working an extra job. These are the same people spending their own money to buy things for their students and their classrooms,” Pacot said. “This is about wages, but it’s also about respect for the good work we do every day. We’re just asking to be paid fairly for our work and we know the district has the money to do that.”
Dozens of WEA members plan to wear red and attend the board meeting at Westville School District 2 Administrative Building (125 Ellsworth, Westville). The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest union. IEA represents Pre K-12 teachers outside the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.