BESD teachers strike, new week

Bourbonnais Elementary School District teachers and supporters march at the intersection of Route 45 and Latham Drive on Monday as the teachers union continued its strike over contract negotiations with the school board.

BOURBONNAIS — Another bargaining meeting between the Bourbonnais Education Association and Bourbonnais School Board has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. today after Tuesday’s meeting lasting seven hours did not result in a deal.

All schools remain closed due to the strike, which has been ongoing for five school days as of today.

Lead negotiators from the BEA and the school board met unofficially for two and a half hours Monday. The board then sent a written offer to the BEA and scheduled a bargaining meeting Tuesday afternoon.

According to a statement from the board Tuesday night, the parties seem to be able to reach an agreement on salary increases over three years and the implementation of a two-tier insurance program for future employees.

However, the parties could not agree on the amount of the board’s contribution toward insurance for future employees, according to the statement.

Because proposals are package deals, a tentative agreement was not reached.

BEA President Lauren Lundmark said in an emailed statement Tuesday night that teachers offered to take smaller salary increases and made concessions on health insurance in the interest of reaching a deal as quickly as possible.

“After over 30 meetings, the BEA is disheartened for the students and teachers in BESD53,” she said. “But we won’t stop fighting for our students and will continue to push for a contract that’s in the best interest of students, staff and community.”

Reporter

Stephanie Markham joined the Daily Journal in February 2020 as the education reporter. She focuses on school boards as well as happenings and trends in local schools. She earned her B.A. in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.