CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Last week, The Champaign Federation of Teachers filed an intent to strike notice. Now, after weeks of negotiations, the union and Unit 4 Board of Education may be reaching an agreement. In case a strike happens next week, community members gathered Saturday to discuss resources for parents.
Saturday’s meeting was about more than the potential strike. It was about getting important information out to parents. They said they also discussed plans to continue supporting parents and kids long after Unit 4 and CFT reach an agreement.
The union is hopeful that a strike won’t be necessary. Still, the United Garden Hills Neighborhood Association has been working to connect Unit 4 parents with resources for childcare, food and more.
A community member said the group spent their time today discussing what the community can do for kids moving forward, and getting prepared – just in case.
“Each resource can only take so many kids. We talked to the YMCA and they said they can have 20 kids… Well, you know the amount of kids in the district, so that’s not going to be realistic. So, hopefully a strike doesn’t happen. If it does, we do need the community stakeholders to tell us the amount of kids they can take. Because that’s kind-of where our concern is right now,” Clarissa Nickerson Fourman said.
She said no matter what happens next week, the group will continue to advocate for the needs of Unit 4 parents and kids. Soon, they’ll be announcing a separate group that hopes to create a space for kids to go to play sports, receive tutoring, and just feel safe.
CFT co-President Mike Sitch also attended the meeting Saturday. He said he believes their tentative agreement is fair.
“We TA’d on this because we think it is something our members will ratify,” Sitch said.
That agreement will be brought to the members and Unit 4 board on Tuesday.