Strike underway as teaching assistants hit the picket line

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DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Teaching assistants hit the picket line Tuesday morning outside several schools.

The school district and Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants have been in negotiations since April, including several meetings with a federal mediator.

Negotiations broke down over insurance.

The school board says the union lied about the state of negotiations, and they weren’t up front with accurate information about financial figures.

In a statement, Decatur Public Schools officials noted that different programs at nine district schools had been canceled Tuesday in light of the strike.

“These suspended programs affected 528 students,” the statement said. “However, classes continued as usual for more than 8,000 students in Decatur Public Schools.”

Officials said they would “welcome” any teaching assistants who wanted to join programs that are still open.

Of those 528 students, 100 are non-Decatur students — meaning they’re part of the Macon Piatt Special Education Cooperative, which is housed in the Decatur school district.

And some members from the Chicago Teachers Union will also be coming down to join forces with the Decatur TA’s.

Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery as well as Chicago Teachers Union members plan to picket outside several schools today.

  • Durfee Technology Magnet School
  • MacArthur High School
  • Pershing Early Learning Center
  • Hope Academy
  • Eisenhower High School

A rally is scheduled for outside the Keil Administration Building Tuesday.

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