Galesburg teachers are on strike a day before school is scheduled to start.
He says he wishes he could give the members of the Galesburg Education Association everything they want, but Galesburg School District Superintendent Bart Arthur says he just can’t.
Arthur joins the G-E-A in hoping that the strike is resolved soon, and that he’s ready to sit down with union representatives, quote, “when the union decides they want to.”
But Arthur told our sister station WGIL today that the state has lost two-point-eight million dollars in state aid over the last four years, which means they can’t give any more than a five-percent increase in salary over the next three years.
Arthur says he believes he’s tried to operate, in his words, “with integrity.”
The G-E-A says, however, that while money is a concern, it’s not the main or the only concern. Workplace safety is another, along with number and hours of days worked, retirement incentives, and other things.
They claim that blaming the state for the district’s financial issues is nothing but a crutch.
This is the first teachers strike in Galesburg in nearly 40 years.