Tentative agreement reached in Evergreen Park teachers’ strike - FOX 32 News Chicago

Tentative agreement reached in Evergreen Park teachers’ strike

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

An eight-day strike by teachers in the Evergreen Park School District 124 looks to be over after a tentative agreement was reached early Friday, according to a post on the Evergreen Park Federation of Teachers' Facebook page.

SEE: Evergreen Park strike continues, parents frustrated, no deal in sight

"After 11 hours of negotiations, we have reached a tentative agreement. We are thankful that we will be back in school on Monday with our students. We have missed them."

The union and the school board scheduled a meeting Saturday to complete the agreement and have kids back in class on Monday.

Tension between striking teachers and the Evergreen Park School District 124 Board appeared to be on the rise Thursday, and the strike appeared headed into an eighth day on Friday.

Negotiations resumed at 5:30 p.m. at Central Junior High School and were still going as of 12:15 a.m., meaning little likelihood of school on Friday. The strike is preventing about 1,800 students at five schools from attending class.

Controversy arose Thursday over teachers holding daily educational activities for a limited number of students at the Jacob's Well Church Community's Kids Club. The free morning and afternoon sessions began Thursday, and up to 50 students can be accommodated at each, according to the teachers union.

The school board said in a news release that Illinois Federation of Teachers field service director Deneen Pajeau misrepresented a memo the board sent Wednesday night to the union — warning that teachers who volunteered at Jacob's Well would not be covered by medical insurance on those days.

The board says the memo reminded the union that such work by teachers would be "outside the scope of district employment" and that liability insurance coverage would not apply if there were an injury. Health insurance coverage would not be affected and remains in place, the board says in the release.

A bargaining session that began Wednesday afternoon lasted 10 hours, ending about 2:40 a.m. Thursday. Cathy Pliska, the mother of two students, stayed until the bitter end. She supports the teachers and expressed anger with the school board.

About 150 teachers and 60 support staff walked out Oct. 2 after negotiations that began in April failed to achieve a new contract. The prior contract expired June 30.

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