Hundreds of Rockford School District employees are picketing at schools throughout the city as a three-day strike gets underway.
About 900 bus drivers, food service workers, and classroom paraprofessionals represented by AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, are protesting stalled contract negotiations, according to union spokesman Anders Lindall. “Rockford schools employees want to be on the job but they need to have a school board that respects their work and is willing to negotiate in good faith,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday, “With that, we can reach an agreement that is good for the schools, that is good for the students, the parents, and the whole Rockford community.”
Schools will stay open during the three-day strike. Parents will have to provide transportation, schools will serve pre-packaged meals, and other staffers will take up classroom duties. The union had to give 10-days’ notice of the strike, and parents were informed by the district early this month of plans to cope with the situation.