Huntley school teachers threaten to strike

ALGONQUIN A last-minute meeting was called in an effort to avoid a strike that could interrupt classes for thousands of students next week.

Eighty-two hundred students, along with parents, teachers and staff were paying attention. The notice of intent to strike was filed Thursday night. That led to the emergency bargaining session.

A dozen people were inside the district administrative building Friday working to resolve the issues after negotiating for seven months. But the two sides still appeared far apart.

The issues are typical - salaries and health care. The latter included a request from teachers of an average 5.4 percent pay raise and, over the next three years, that would be a raise of 6.5 percent above the rate of inflation.

"I think both sides will work very hard. I'm optimistic that we will definitely all put the time in. And hopefully we can get to resolution. There are big differences," said John Burkey, Huntley Dist. 158. "So I do hope we can resolve it however."

The two sides were prepared to bargain all Friday evening. The superintendent conceded he's not optimistic the two sides will be able to close what is a pretty wide gap. If they don't get it resolved Friday night, they'll meet Sunday and the teachers union says without a deal, there will be no classes Monday.

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