Looming QPS employee union strike could add strain to local non- - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Looming QPS employee union strike could add strain to local non-profits

Teen Reach in Quincy could be stretched if QPS union employees go on strike Teen Reach in Quincy could be stretched if QPS union employees go on strike

Employees at Quincy Public Schools could go on strike in a couple of weeks, and if they do, it would mean more than 6,000 students are at home instead of in school.

That's leaving a local organization worried how much more strain that could put on its budget.

On a normal day, dozens of kids come through Teen Reach, which usually relies on state funding, but that could change in just a couple of weeks.

The Quincy Public School Employee Union voted to go on strike earlier this month, which could leave thousands of families wondering what to do with their kids. Teen Reach Board Chairman Mike Nobis said with more kids and no extra money, a strike could put Teen Reach to the test.

"Obviously more kids are going to cause again more stress on us budget wise, but that's okay because we feel we can overcome that," Nobis said. But the budget is a real stress for us. It's something we constantly have to worry about."

Nobis said the budget stress comes because of the state budget impasse.  He said they haven't seen a dime of state funding recently.

"We're just sort of waiting to see, okay when are the checks going to actually be cut, when can the funds actually start coming to us," Nobis said. "We're spending our money in keeping it going, but we're going to need the state funds here before too long."

With no idea when funds will come, Nobis said they are left to solely rely on the the community.
"We've had several local companies who help donate to us, other organizations are donating on a regular basis," Nobis said. "We've got a little bit better base and foundation to make it through this lean time."

He's concerned the strike could put a big dent in their budget.  He's not alone.

Emily Robbearts, the Director of United Way of Adams County said QPS officials reached out to them to come up with a plan among the agencies in the Quincy area to figure out what to do if the strike happens.

"Many children depend on the school district for breakfast and lunch, as well as what will children do during the day who can't stay home by themselves," Robbearts said. "So we hope to talk about that, and talk about what services will be available, how we can organize those things, should it be needed."

The meeting is set for next Friday, January 6. United Way officials sent invites to about 10 different organizations to try and talk about what issues could arise and plan out potential solutions to this problem.

The Quincy Public School union officials say employees will be at school for the first few weeks of school coming back from winter break, but the strike could start in mid-January. QPS officials say they are meeting with the union January 4th. Meanwhile, Lawmakers head back to Springfield January 9th.

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