Classes canceled in Geneva for 4th day as teachers strike continues

GENEVA, Ill. — Nearly 6,000 children in the northern Illinois community of Geneva are home from school for the fourth straight day as negotiations between the striking teaches and the school board continue.

Union president Kevin Gannon told WGN News the major sticking point is the model used to determine teacher salary.

“We are of the mind that we’d like to see our beginning teachers make more money for sure and even at a higher percent than our veteran teachers but not at the extent that the board is proposing,” he said.

The district's proposal calls for an increase of $5.5 million. But the union says its big concern is not so much the pay but the district's desire to eliminate a salary schedule that calls for increases to be based on experience and continuing education in favor of a flat increase each year of the four-year contract that it says creates a salary disparity between new and veteran teachers.

The school board, the union and a federal mediator met Thursday night. The union said there was progress and they’ll try again Friday night.

“Everybody needs going into the meeting tonight how important getting movement is to getting our students and getting our teachers back where they belong Monday,” Gannon said.