Proviso Teachers Union reaches tentative agreement with school board, ending two-week strike

“The Board, District administrators and teachers look forward to continuing to work together to maintain and enhance the quality of education and fiscal stability of District 209 for the benefit of our students, staff and community,” District 209 School Board President Rodney Alexander said Wednesday.

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Proviso West High School at 4701 Harrison St. in Hillside.

Proviso West High School at 4701 Harrison St. in Hillside.

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A tentative agreement has been reached between teachers at Proviso High School District 209 and administrators, ending a strike that has canceled classes for two weeks.

“We are pleased to reach an agreement that prioritizes our students, parents, and communities,” Proviso Teachers Union President Maggie Riley said in a statement Wednesday night. “Our membership will be voting on the tentative agreement next week.”

The details of the agreement weren’t immediately shared, but it is a three-year contract, according to District 209 School Board President Rodney Alexander.

Alexander said details of the contract terms will be released to the public once the union and the school board cast their votes.

Students are on spring break this week and are expected to return to class March 28.

“The Board, District administrators and teachers look forward to continuing to work together to maintain and enhance the quality of education and fiscal stability of District 209 for the benefit of our students, staff and community,” Alexander said in a statement.

The school district is home to three high schools located in Maywood, Hillside and Forest Park, serving over 4,000 students in 10 suburbs.

Teachers have been negotiating for a new contract for a year, calling for better pay and smaller class sizes. Talks soured and the bitterness between teachers and administrators boiled over last week during a confrontation at a board meeting.

The union claimed Supt. James L. Henderson and school board member Claudia Medina got into a heated argument in which Henderson allegedly used profanities and advanced “aggressively” toward Medina before walking away.

Union officials called it a “disgusting display” and demanded Henderson be placed on leave pending an investigation.

Henderson denied those claims in a letter to parents, saying he has had to endure “constant beratement” and lies from Medina.

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