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Our view: Strike should not be option

Contract negotiations between school Districts 158 and 300 and their respective teachers’ unions are at critical places.

Teachers in Huntley-based District 158 are discussing whether to declare a formal impasse in their talks with the school board. Teachers in Carpentersville-based District 300 declared an impasse last week.

Under state law, declaring an impasse is the last procedural move required before a teachers union can decide to strike. When an impasse is declared, both sides are required to turn over their final offers to a state education labor board, which can make the offers public. A union legally can strike 28 days after an impasse is declared.

We urge the teachers unions from both school districts not to strike. Teachers should continue working while the negotiations are ongoing. In doing so, teachers will continue to earn the respect of students, parents and administrators.

We understand that negotiations can be frustrating, particularly when they seem to be going nowhere. But walking off the job is not the way to go about trying to get your way. It sets a bad example for students, and divides the community.

We also urge both school boards to continue negotiating in good faith. Listen to the unions’ concerns. Keeping taxpayers and the best interests of the district and its students in mind, work hard to find common ground.

The unions and school boards owe it to taxpayers from each district to settle contract negotiations without a work stoppage.

It’s time to get it done.

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