QPS union employees voice frustration to board - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

QPS union employees voice frustration to board

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Many Quincy Federation members attended the board meeting Wednesday night Many Quincy Federation members attended the board meeting Wednesday night
Jacoby spoke about advocating for herself and fellow educators. Jacoby spoke about advocating for herself and fellow educators.
Members sat in at the meeting. Members sat in at the meeting.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Many Quincy Federation members sat in at the October board meeting, as frustration about a possible strike continued to build.

Special Education Teacher Vonda Jacoby said while she spends her days teaching her students how to advocate for themselves, Wednesday night was a different story.

"I am advocating for myself, and my other special education teachers here in Quincy." Jacoby said.

Quincy Federation Co-President Jen Drew says members came to send a message to the school board.

"They really wanted to show the school board our solidarity and that we are standing together as a group, and that we really want them to start seriously discussing some options to move forward." Drew said.

Parent Jessica Moore was also at the meeting, and she said she was upset that the union would even consider a strike.

"Going on strike for something the entire community is feeling the crunch on, will not make the money appear." Moore said. "It will only be detrimental to the children in the community."

Board President Sayeed Ali said while the district would like to pay its teachers more, the money simply isn't there.

"This board is not going to do anything that is going to put ourselves, or the district, and the financial health of our district in jeopardy." Ali said.

Ali added that while the board hadn't heard much from the union prior to the meeting, they planned to discuss what to do in executive session.

The board also discussed the 2017 district wide audit at Wednesday's meeting. 

The audit revealed the district's financial rating dropped from 2.75 to 2.45. 

Doing so put them in the financial watch category, meaning if the conditions don't improve, the state board of education could take control of the district's finances.

"We know we've had a tough financial situation, so we need to continue." Superintendent Roy Webb said. "We made some cuts over the summer, we're still executing some of those cuts. So we need to get to a balanced budget, so we're working to do that."

Webb added that as the new buildings begin to open, that should alleviate some of the financial strain on the district.

The board also heard from Teen REACH officials about their proposed HUB project at Washington Elementary School.

Superintendent Roy Webb said while the board wants to work with Teen REACH, legally they have to auction off the property.

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