AFSCME, Rockford Public Schools Remain Far From Contract Deal

Mar 28, 2017

Nearly two weeks after a strike from the district’s bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and food service workers, a contract deal isn’t in close reach.

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

AFSCME represents the workers who protested what they call “dead end contract negotiations.” 

Ed Sadlowski, with the labor union, says the strike was successful in giving school employees a voice.

“It’s a new awareness and a new understanding about what needs to happen and how, and the very appropriate approach to when you’re encountered being provoked to strike, just how do it," he said.

Sadlowski says another strike could be possible in the future.

“It looks more likely than not if things continue," he said. "Right now, we’re continuing to build our union and that’s in part what the strike was intended to do.”

Rockford Public Schools Superintendent Ehren Jarrett says the district is offering $3.6 million, but the union wants more than $10 million.

Union members are saying the pay increases aren't enough to cover spikes in insurances costs.