The union for teachers and other employees at the Blue Ridge school district in central Illinois has filed paperwork, announcing plans to go on strike Oct. 28. But the union president says talks on a new contract are making progress.
Ten days ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public sector employees who choose not to join unions no longer have to pay reduced fees to cover collective bargaining. And already, a crusade to persuade teachers to drop union membership has hit Illinois.
In the Farrington school district, near Mount Vernon, a new teacher makes less than $29,000—even with a master’s degree. Farrington is one of the lowest-paying districts, but state officials say some 7,000 teachers statewide makes less than $40,000.