WESTVILLE – Dozens of Westville Education Association (WEA) members, along with parents and other community members, plan to wear red and pack the Westville Community Unit School District 2 board meeting Wednesday night.
WEA and District 2 are now in federal mediation and have been bargaining since January. The first mediation session ended with no proposals from the district, no movement from the district and, ultimately, no contract. The teachers and support staff are working without a contract, which expired on June 30.
“We are asking our board and administration to make reaching a fair agreement a priority. This has gone on long enough. We’ve been negotiating for nearly six months at this point, and to go to mediation and not get one proposal from the board is beyond frustrating,” WEA Spokesperson Amy Pacot said. “Westville pays less than nearly every school district in the county. We are sounding the alarm. Nearly three quarters of the staff, including teachers, say they have considered leaving. We need to do something and we need to do it now. Our students deserve quality staff, but I’m not sure the district will be able to provide that if they don’t raise wages.”
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. Learn more about a recent survey that shows nearly half of teachers either have a second job or are considering getting one here.
“At this point it’s beyond disheartening, it’s just shameful. The district has the funding to make our wages competitive with neighboring districts. They have the ability to pay teachers and support staff what they’re worth so we don’t have educators working two and three jobs to make ends meet,” Pacot said. “Everyone knows costs are going up, but we were underpaid before all this inflation. We are just asking for the respect and fair wages we deserve.”
Dozens of WEA and community members plan to wear red and attend the board meeting at Westville School District 2 Administrative Building (125 Ellsworth, Westville). The meeting is Wed., Dec. 13 and 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.