The association representing the Altamont Unit 10 school district support staff has announced that a strike could begin as soon as Tuesday if no contract agreement is reached during Monday’s bargaining session.
“It’s very disappointing to us that this has become necessary,” said Charlene Calhoun, president of the Altamont Educational Support Staff Association (AESSA). “But the district has been very unfair to us. It hasn’t had a new proposal since it offered us a nickel raise in August. All other employees in the district, including the highest paid employees, have already received decent raises. We aren’t worth less. We care about the students like other employees. We work hard. We deserve fairness, too.”
The AESPA represents the district’s bus drivers, cooks, secretaries, custodians, teachers aids, and groundkeepers. The potential for strike comes 23 months after negotiations began. Since May 2014, the two sides have met approximately 17 times with little progress in the negotiations.
The AESPA called last month for the public posting of negotiations proposals from both the Unit 10 school board and association negotiators. This is a legal requirement that must be completed in order for employees to engage in a lawful strike.