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Peoria teachers' union votes to authorize strike as tense negotiations with district administration continue

Peoria Federation of Teachers Local 780 Facebook
Members of the Peoria Federation of Teachers overwhelmingly voted to approve a strike authorization on Thursday at Woodruff High School.

Members of the Peoria Federation of Teachers overwhelming approved a strike authorization in a vote Thursday evening.

The vote doesn't mean Peoria Public Schools teachers are immediately going on strike, but is a necessary legal step the union must take before teachers can walk the picket line. A strike could happen if the school district and union don't come to an agreement.

Salaries remain a key sticking point in the fraught negotiations that started in March.

In a statement released ahead of Thursday's vote, Peoria Public Schools board president Martha Ross said the district will release the offer it is making to the union if an agreement isn't struck by mid-September. Ross has previously claimed the union is demanding a salary increase "among the highest in the state," matching the core rate of inflation.

Teachers are currently working under an expired contract.

A federal mediator is set to return next Wednesday to oversee another round of negotiations.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.