Classes Canceled Today In Gary, Ind.; Ecorse, Mich.
GARY, Ind. (AP) _ Striking service workers set up picket lines today, shutting down the 27,000-pupil Gary school system a day after teachers tenatively approved a new contract.
School Superintendent Ernest Jones said officials would meet later today with representatives of the union which represents 800 custodians, food- service workers, secretaries, clerical aides and lunchroom matrons.
A decision on whether to hold classes Tuesday will be made this afternoon, Jones said. Today’s classes were canceled Sunday.
About 2,200 students in the Ecorse, Mich., district also got the day off today after teachers went on strike to protest economic issues and not having a contract, officials said.
Teachers struck today after the Ecorse Board of Education refused to discuss contract issues, said Hugh Jarvis, president of the Michigan Federation of Teachers, which represents the 200 striking teachers. They have been without a contract since the 1984-85 school year.
Ecorse School District Superintendent Claude Inch was unavailable for comment today, said a secretary.
The Gary board’s latest proposal to service workers was a one-year contract that included a 3 percent pay hike, said Bill Willett, president of Local 208. The membership rejected it 644-6 on Saturday.
The union was seeking a two-year contract and an 8 percent pay hike in each of those years, he said.
The 1,650-member Local 4 of the American Federation of Teachers approved a tentative two-year contract by a 1,009-134 margin Sunday, and reported today for work at a training program, officials said.
The proposal to the teachers included a 4 percent pay hike the first year and a 5 percent hike in the second, according to Union President Sandra Irons and school officials. Mrs. Irons said the teachers supported the service workers.