It is good news that a strike date for teachers and other professional staff in the Proviso Township High Schools has been pushed back.
Last minute headway in difficult negotiations led the teachers union to delay a strike that had been scheduled for last Friday, Feb. 18. More than in most such negotiations, the various bargaining positions have been put forward in news stories and on social media. And it suggests progress, if not a certain path forward.
Original and, for a time, hardened positions on salary and length of contract have now closed and moved into a rational range on both sides. There are other issues still to be dealt with, including class size.
The underlying distrust and anger between the school board and its administration and the union are a reflection of the upset percolating throughout this district. That hundreds of students across the three schools walked out of classes last week in solidarity with their teachers is reflective of sides being taken. That a veteran member of the school board gleefully gave the finger to a constituent during a board meeting is both appalling and unsurprising given how divided this district has become in recent years.
Maybe a contract gets signed. Maybe a strike is inevitable. Sooner, though, adults need to lead — through listening and compromise and respect.
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