D46 Teachers' Union Approves Authorization to Strike if Necessary
An overwhelming majority of teachers in Grayslake District 46 have voted to authorize a strike if necessary, as a result of stalled contract negotiations with the school board. However, union officials said there has been no decision to actually strike.
Update, Oct. 17: Statement from Supt. Ellen Correll
As reported in the media, District 46 teachers voted this week to authorize a strike, IF NECESSARY. After the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) receives the final offers from both the Board of Education and the Teachers' Union, the teachers will have a 10 day waiting period before considering to walk out. It is my hope that both sides will continue to bargain in good faith. The Board of Education and the Teachers' Union are currently working with a Federal Mediator.
Please continue to monitor the CCSD46 website for updates.
Superintendent of Schools
Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504 representative Jeff Pergander told Patch Tuesday afternoon that of the 327 Grayslake District 46 teachers who were eligible to vote to authorize a strike yesterday, 320 cast ballots.
"Of the 320, three voted to accept the (school) board's offer; 317 rejected the offer."
The vote, said Pergander, authorizes the teachers' union "to call for a strike if necessary."
By law, the union would have to give 10 days strike notice, but the union "has no intention of starting that process," said Pergander.
"We still hope to get back to the table and negotiate."
Pergander said they have the services of a federal mediator, but no date has been set for the next bargaining session.
Because the school district declared an impasse last week, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will require the union and school board to post their last offers/positions and the related costs on the State of Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board Website.
This information, which the public can view, is expected to be posted in the middle of next week, said Pergander, though it is up to the labor relations board to determine precisely when it will be posted.
Pergander said the three main sticking points D46 teachers have is "the board's desire to reduce flex benefits that teachers can get in lieu of health insurance; a reduction in retirement benefits; and salaries."
The District 46 teachers' union voted to strike in 2008, but it never came to fruition, and the union agreed to a 3-year contract.
For the 2010-11 school year, said Mike McGue, president of the Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504, the union accepted a salary reduction "to protect jobs."
The teachers' union has now been working without a contract since June 30, 2012.
Union officials said the school district's Educational Support Personnel, a separate bargaining unit which covers about 190 non-certified staff members, is working without a contract as well.