Rockford Public Schools 205 employees announced Thursday their intent to hold a three-day strike beginning March 15th.
The walkout would be by the District’s 900 school bus drivers, food service workers and paraprofessionals would begin a three-day strike action starting on March 15. That’s if the school board continues its refusal to bargain in ‘good faith’.
Their union, AFSCME, sent a legal notice of intent to strike to the school board late Thursday afternoon. By law, they must wait ten business days after such a notice is issued.
“School board members seem to think it’s OK to pay poverty wages, $14-$16,000 dollars a year,” AFSCME Council 31 Staff Representative Ed Sadlowski said in a news release before hold the news conference. “The board members seem to think it’s OK to raise workers’ costs for health care, putting health insurance out of reach for many workers. The board members seem to think it’s OK to take food off the table of these Rockford families at the same time the board is sitting on a surplus of more than $100 million. We are here to say it is not OK. Working people deserve better.”
The RPS 205 school board recently imposed its ‘last, best offer’ after declaring an impasse in negotiations with the workers’ union. They say the union’s demands are both unreasonable and unaffordable by the district. They pledge to keep schools open through the three-day walkout.