Proviso teachers continue to demand better pay, smaller class sizes

A teachers' strike is set to continue in the suburbs Tuesday, and the biggest issue on the table remains compensation.

No school Tuesday or Wednesday for Proviso Township high schools.

"What we are doing now is for the future of our students," said Maggie Riley, the Proviso Teachers Union President.

Teachers in District 209 have been on strike since Friday and are demanding better pay.

The union is asking for an increase of 12.75 percent over 3 years. 

District leaders offered a 9 percent increase over three years, Riley said.

MORE: Proviso students walk out of class in solidarity with teachers' strike

School Board President Rodney Alexander said in a statement Monday night that the district and union are still more than 1.34 million dollars apart.

"The district remains firm in our position that salary increases at the level demanded by the union are neither sustainable, nor in the best fiscal interest of our parents and other local resident taxpayers."

Riley says they are also demanding smaller class sizes, adding that hitting the picket line was their last option, but now the district and superintendent seem to be taking them seriously.


"We didn't want to go on strike, but we were left no other choice," said Riley. "So we would like him to continue to take bargaining seriously."

Athletics will continue as planned Tuesday and Wednesday.

Teachers will be hitting the picket lines at all three high schools Tuesday morning starting at 7:45 a.m.