Niles teachers issue ten-day strike notice, plan to strike September 1
Teachers in Niles have issued a ten-day strike notice on Thursday stating that they plan to strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, September 1.
The teachers voted unanimously to strike in response to an update on stalled negotiations on Wednesday. The parties have been engaged in negotiations for a new three-year agreement since March of 2022.
The current agreement is set to expire on August 31 at 11:59 p.m.
A session with a mediator on Monday showed very little progress on these negotiations. The board's representatives were unprepared to resume the meeting as scheduled on Wednesday, but agreed to meet on August 26.
A statement from Niles Education President, Tracy Ledsome reads as follows:
"It is with heavy heart that our membership decided to send a ten-day strike notice to the Board. Niles teachers want to be in the classroom doing the work we love, teaching the children of the Niles community."
"Our team is ready and willing to resume negotiations as soon as the Board's representatives are ready. We are still hopeful that an agreement can be reached. Niles teachers appreciate the continued support of the Niles community as we work diligently to achieve a fair and equitable contract with the Niles Board of Education."
Niles City Schools Superintendent, Ann Marie Thigpen released a statement of her own expressing disappointment in the Education Association's decision to go on strike.
The statement reads as follows:
"We are disappointed that the Niles Education Association has decided to issue a notice of its intent to strike on September 1. The Niles Board of Education is working hard in negotiating in good faith with the union to reach a contract agreement. We met with the union this week in a mediation session facilitated by a federal mediator, and both sides agreed to schedule two upcoming mediation settings that will hopefully lead to a mutual agreement prior to the expiration of the current contract on August 31."
"It is important for everyone in our community to understand that while it is unfortunate the union decided to take this step, it only intensifies our commitment to continue bargaining in good faith to reach a contract settlement that is fair and equitable for all parties."
"We appreciate the community's support and we look forward to reaching an agreement with our teachers."