Galesburg teachers strike over contract

GALESBURG – Members of a northwestern Illinois teachers union are on strike after rejecting a contract offered by the public school district.

The Galesburg Education Association turned down a contract offer late Tuesday from District 205 after more than 15 hours of mediation in the past two days. Teachers started picketing Wednesday morning. It's the first strike in Galesburg in 37 years.

School is scheduled to start Thursday. Students won't attend classes if the strike continues.

No talks between the teachers and the district have been scheduled. A spokeswoman for the 500-person union says the contract doesn't include fair working conditions, including just cause for dismissal.

The union issued a statement Tuesday night criticizing the school board for waiting until "the last minute" to resolve contract issues.