MENDOTA, Ill. — The Mendota Education Association launched a hotline community members can use to call the District 289 Board of Education.
The union said callers will be greeted with a message from MEA Co-Vice President Brandon Scheppers and then the calls will be patched through to the district office. The MEA has been on strike since Wednesday.
“We are asking anyone who wants our students to be back in school and anyone who wants this strike to be over to call. We cannot get a fair contract if the board won’t come to the table. It’s that simple,” Scheppers said in a statement. “Through our mediator, we have learned the board is unwilling to bargain with us before Saturday. This needs to be a priority. We were available all day yesterday, are available again today and will continue to be ready to bargain every day until we get a contract.”
Community members have been sending messages of encouragement to MEA members and also have shown their support for MEA by bringing food and water to strike headquarters.
“I called the hotline because I support Mendota teachers,” Mendota parent Amanda Atherton said. “Making a phone call is the least I can do. We’re talking about the people who spend every day working with our children, helping them learn and grow. We need the board to get back to the table, so our teachers and students can get back to school.”
MEA is made up of 76 elementary members and 39 high school teachers from School District 280. Only the elementary teachers from District 289 are on strike. Their contract expired on Aug. 14, and they’ve been negotiating with the D289 BOE since March.
District 289 serves 1,170 students and has three schools that are all closed today.