Litchfield teachers may strike this week if no deal reached Monday night

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 6, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 4:04 AM

Litchfield, IL

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LITCHFIELD, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- Teachers in the Litchfield School District could go on strike this week if school officials refuse to offer them higher pay.

Lynne Taylor, president of the Litchfield Education Association, says teachers want at least a three-percent raise. The school board's offer is a two-year contract with a one-percent pay increase.

"It's a tough economy -- I understand that -- but I also understand thing that are important get paid for, and there's money there, and if teachers are that important to them, you'll pay us," Taylor said.

More than 80 teachers are reportedly ready to go on strike if the contract is not revised.

School board officials argue they simply do not have enough money to fund a three-percent pay increase. The superintendent says a higher pay raise would mean layoffs for some staff members, which would then affect quality of education.

"There are certainly some things I think the school, the teachers could walk away with," said Tim Reents, school board president. "There are some things that maybe they could give to help us in the future, and we could probably come back with some kind of compensation that would help that out too, so we're hoping we can still negotiate too."

Litchfield parents have been notified they need to make childcare arrangement if a deal cannot be reached Monday night. A proposed teachers' strike would then begin on Wednesday.

According to district records, the last time Litchfield teachers went on strike was in 1980.

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