Carbondale teachers, board can’t find agreement on new contracts

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KBSI) – The Board of Education of Carbondale Elementary School (CEA) District #95 and the Teachers Union of Carbondale Education Association held a final meeting Monday to reach an agreement on new contracts.  

On Nov. 7, the CEA informed the board of its “intent to strike.” 

Teacher Amber Ragsdale says that the goal was to bring the needs of the teachers to the table. 

“Taking the needs of our members with us to the negotiating table and trying to get some of these things hashed out,” said Ragsdale. 

The teachers and the board have been working to agree since March but failed on several issues. Some of this is the board proposing to reduce current teachers’ benefits along with insurance increasing.  

Board officials say they value their teachers by offering an average salary of $71,054 before benefits.  

“And it is almost like a pay cut because those costs are so much more expensive, I mean those rising costs are so much more expensive than they have been in the past,” said Ragsdale. 

Ragsdale says the teachers don’t want to strike because they love their students, but they require their needs are met, as well.  

“We need a fair contract to attract and retain the amazing teachers we have, and we need to be able to do that so that we can continue to provide high-quality education to our students,” said Ragsdale. 

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