Alton teachers issue strike notice
By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis – The union that represents teachers and other employees in the Alton School District decided Thursday to issue a strike notice.
Members voted 477 to 37 against the district's latest two-year contract proposal.
It included base pay increases of one percent. The union is seeking two percent raises.
Ric Stephenson with the Illinois Education Association said teachers cheered when the results of the vote came in.
"They're clearly sending a message to the district that we should be and we are a partner in this district, and we should be treated in a fair and equitable manner," Stephenson said.
The earliest the teachers could strike is Sept. 11.
School begins on Tuesday, but Alton Superintendent David Elson said he expects things to go smoothly despite the disagreement.
"Our teachers are professionals," Elson said. "And they will use that time in the best possible way they can. And I don't think they would want to do anything that would disrupt things and interrupt instruction."
Elson said in addition to base pay raises, teachers also receive pay increases based on years of experience. And he says if those are taken into account, the district's annual raise offer is around 4.5 percent.