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Dixon Teachers To Strike This Week

Dixon Athletics

Teachers in Dixon plan to strike Thursday.  In an open letter to the community, the Dixon Education Association says unresolved issues include continued salary freezes and staffing shortages.

Superintendent Michael Juenger posted this message on the district's website:

Earlier this morning [Tuesday], contract negotiations with the Teachers Association broke down and the teachers informed the Board of Education that they would go on strike beginning on Thursday, February 28th.

Classes for Thursday are cancelled.  As mentioned in the Parent Letter, educational services provided to Dixon students by outside entities will continue as normal.

On Thursday, the procedure for registering students in grades K-5 for child care will begin.  There will be no cost for this service.  However, these days are not considered student attendance days, so parents will need to provide a lunch for their child and transportation to and from school.  More details will follow.

The Board regrets any inconvenience that this situation causes.  They are working diligently to reach an agreement with the DEA that is fair to teachers and is prudent for the current fiscal times.  Later today, the Board’s latest offer will be posted on-line.  They did counter the DEA’s proposals, but the sides remain far apart.  The Board had hoped that bargaining would continue without the work stoppage, but that is not possible.  The next bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday night.

More information is being provided on the district'sFacebook page

In an open letter to the community, the Dixon Education Association outlined some of the sticking points of negotiations:

  • The Dixon teachers are currently working for the third school year of a soft freeze to salaries.  The DEA proposal includes moderate raises for teachers.
  • Most teachers retiring in recent years have not been replaced.  So, teachers are teaching  more students.
  • Special education options are being short-changed and the number of classroom aides has dwindled.
  • Teachers will be required to teach a longer day and a longer school year with no compensation for our professional services.
  • The Board’s proposal includes an additional demand for our after-school-time. Teachers would be required to staff concession stands and sell tickets at athletic events.  If a teacher chose not to fulfill those requirements, they would have to pay the district to NOT serve those duties.  This odd perspective on appropriate use of professionals’ time is indicative of the disrespect and disregard the Dixon teachers are shown in the Dixon School Board’s contract offer.
Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield. She is a former "Newsfinder of the Year" from the Illinois Associated Press and recipient of NIU's Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award. She is an active member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and an adjunct instructor at NIU.