Proviso Teachers Union set to strike March 4, district says schools will be closed

The Proviso Teachers Union, a council of the West Suburban Teachers Union, said it has made a final attempt to avoid a strike that is set for Friday.

According to PTU President Maggie Riley, Supt. James Henderson refused to meet prior to March 7.

A statement says the union sent a counter offer Thursday morning, which extends the offer to bargain at any time. 

In late January, members of the Proviso Teachers Union voted to authorize a strike if a fair agreement was not reached with the District 209 administration soon.


"Our members don’t take this step lightly," said Riley. "No one wants to strike, but the administration’s lack of seriousness about reaching an agreement has been clear for nearly a year."

Members originally planned to strike on Feb. 18, but postponed the strike as negotiations continued.

The District says schools will be closed Friday as a result of the planned strike.

Rodney Alexander, the President of the Board of Education for Proviso Township High Schools, released a statement Thursday, saying in part: 

"We are disappointed that our educators are again contemplating this potential disruption to teaching and learning, particularly given additional movement made by the District in its most recent offer, which was presented to the union on Tuesday, March 1. 

In this offer, the District increased its salary proposal from 7% over 3 years (2% in the first and 2.5% in the second and third years) to 9% over three years (3% each year). We question the union’s intent to bargain in good faith, given that in the counterproposal presented to the District today, they moved backwards and increased their salary demands by more than $300,000."

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