QPS union members detail intent to strike steps - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

QPS union members detail intent to strike steps

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Union member walks into Quincy Federation headquarters. Union member walks into Quincy Federation headquarters.
Illinois Federation of Teachers sign hangs in a window. Illinois Federation of Teachers sign hangs in a window.
Union members arrive for a meeting. Union members arrive for a meeting.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Quincy Public School union employees voted down the latest contract offer and approved their intent to strike, it's the second time in a year.

In fact, two-thirds of Quincy Federation members voted to move forward with the intent to strike.

"I'm not surprised by the vote," Teacher Subgroup Co-President Jen Drew said. "I think our members spoke very clearly with what they wanted."

School Board President Sayeed Ali hoped to reach a deal, but knew it would be tough with the district's finances.

"With any organization there are things you can control and things you can't," Ali said. "The dollars we receive is something that we can't control."

Union members must now wait 28 days before walking off the job. They will begin sending paperwork to the Illinois Labor Relations Board to begin the strike process immediately.

"There's a 14-day time period from when both sides can post their last offer," Drew explained.

In the meantime, Ali says the board will discuss how to proceed with negotiations.

"We'll talk with the superintendent because from an operations standpoint, he will have his action plan ready to go," Ali added.

Superintendent Roy Webb said in the event of a strike, the schools will shut down. Webb said he will not bring in substitute employees in place of union members. Any days students miss could be made up. That would be decided and how to make them up in the agreement between the two sides.

Drew hopes both sides can avoid shutting down school.

"We hope it doesn't affect anyone's lives negatively by having kids off of school, but we do need to protect our membership," Drew said.

Ali says they'll continue to work on a deal.

"There's limitations there as far as how far we can go," Ali explained.

The earliest union members could walk off the job is November 20th. If the strike takes place, Webb said all extracurricular activities would stop, including sports and music.  

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