Rockford school workers demand fair contract
On Tuesday night, more than 100 AFSCME members jammed a meeting of the Rockford District 205 Board of Education to call for a contract settlement that respects the important work they do helping care for the community’s children.
The paraprofessionals – a broad category that includes bus drivers, food service workers and other support staff – rallied outside and then brought their concerns to the board during its meeting. Ten members of AFSCME Local 692 spoke during the meeting.
District 205 staff members have gone five years without a wage increase, with their average pay stuck between $9.50 and $11.50 an hour – wages that put many members below the poverty line.
Plus, after seven months of negotiating, the Board of Education has continued to insist a new agreement include increased health care costs for employees.
"It’s just like disrespectful to us," Local 692 President Elizabeth Christensen told WIFR-TV.