Educators at Kishwaukee College could go on strike next week.
The Kishwaukee College Education Association recently filed an intent to strike. The action allows faculty to walk off the job as early as Jan. 16th if they do not reach a contract agreement with school administrators. The filing with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board does not guarantee the faculty will strike, but it gives them the option.
Classes are still expected to start next Monday.
Education Association President Matt Read says both sides will also meet with a mediator on that day.
"It's not necessarily having more money. It's not necessarily having the best benefits in the world. It's having the appropriate levels of salary and benefits that's going to attract the passionate people and keep the ones that are currently here."
Kishwaukee College President Tom Choice has said he believes both sides are sincere in their interest in reaching a fair and equitable contract.
“We like our faculty. We think they do a great job and we want to retain them, and we want to be able to recruit good faculty members and the Board thinks that this offer certainly maintains that.”
Choice says Kishwaukee has a different tax base and student enrollment compared to other northern Illinois community colleges, but he says he believes Kishwaukee's health benefits are competitive.
The Kishwaukee College Education Association (KCEA) represents 81 educators at Kishwaukee College. The KCEA is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.