UPDATED: Can Middle Ground Be Found?
In what could be the final bargaining session before a potential strike, the Grayslake School District 46 Board and the teachers' union will meet this afternoon in hopes of reaching a contract agreement.
Updated Jan. 12
In an email from Superintendent Ellen Correll that went out to all District 46 parents who subscribe to the district's newsletter:
The Board of Education/Teachers Union negotiations on Friday night did NOT result in an agreement. There is another negotiation session scheduled for Tuesday, January 15, 2013.
It is my suggestion however, that you begin planning for a strike and any needed child care. I will continue to update you but wanted to make sure you have plenty of time to make plans. I will be working with Champions to develop child care plans at Meadowview and Prairieview. As soon as those options are firmed up, I will post on the district website.
I know this is a very challenging situation for all of you and it is our hope that an agreement can be reached. In the event of a strike, I will be sending out a message via the School Reach phone message system, posting on the website, an email blast and notification to the media. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
Ellen L. Correll, Superintendent
Updated Jan. 11 at 10:59 p.m.
Patch has received additional comments in regards to the mediation session this evening.
The teachers' union said while there was no 'formal' proposal as an outcome of the meeting, there were several 'supposals' discussed through the mediator during the six hour session.
Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504 Business Agent Jim Pergander said the union did share one suggestion of having a one year contract with only about a 1.75% salary increase for this year.
According to Pergander, "the school board would only accept a one year deal with a hard freeze and no increase of any kind."
The union said the potential strike date of next Wednesday, Jan. 16 still stands. The next mediation session is set for Tuesday, Jan. 15.
Updated Jan. 11 at 10:27 p.m.
According to Ray Millington, president of the Grayslake D46 Board of Education, a bargaining session has ended for the evening and the teachers' union and board will reconvene Tuesday, Jan. 15 for another mediation session.
Millington said in an email to Patch, "the school board has attempted to discuss different scenarios with the union. Unfortunately the union hasn't accepted or countered any of our attempts to resolve the issues."
It could be a long night for the Grayslake Community Consolidated School District 46 Board of Education and the Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504.
The two sides will meet this afternoon in hopes of negotiating a contract for the teachers.
Ray Millington, president of the school board told Patch Wednesday that he will 'do what it takes' to reach an agreement. Earlier this month union president Diane Elfering said, "we will meet all night if needed."
Here's a timeline of the meetings and negotiations leading to this point:
- Oct. 12, 2012: The school board declares an impasse. The union prepares to vote to authorize a strike.
- Oct. 16: Teachers' union approves an authorization to strike if necessary.
- Oct. 25: The board and teachers' union post their best and final offers of the contract.
- Oct. 30: The Board of Education and the teachers' union meet for the first time with a federal mediator.
- Nov. 12: A second bargaining session results in little progress.
- Nov. 13: A strike date of Jan. 16 is announced.
- Nov. 28: Some progress is made during a negotiation session between the two sides, however a contract agreement is still not reached.
- Dec. 11: The first 'Town Meeting' is held by the D46 Board to address concerns from the public.
- Dec. 20: The district announces it is accepting applications for substitute teachers in preparation for a potential strike by the union.
- Jan 9, 2013: A second 'Town Meeting' is hosted by the D46 Board.
- Jan. 11: A final negotiation session is planned.
- Jan. 16: The teachers' union plan to strike if a contract agreement is not met.
While both sides agree to a two-year contract, sticking points remain on retirement and compensation.
The district is sticking to a salary freeze with no step or lane changes for the first year. In the second year the board has offered to give all certified staff who have not submitted for a notice to retire a $1,000 stipend, which could cost the district about $300,000.
The union agrees to continue working at their current 2011-12 salary schedule for next school year, but they want lane change compensation paid in February 2013, which would cost $200,000. Teachers are also asking for two salary steps scheduled for Sept. 2013 and March 2014, which would cost $750,000, according to the district.
Stay tuned to Grayslake Patch for updated information on negotiations and a pending teachers' strike.