In an eleventh hour negotiating session with a federal mediator lasting nearly eight hours Tuesday, the District 46 Board of Education and Lake County Federal of Teachers Local 504 could not reach a contract agreement.
As a result, the district's 300-plus teachers are now on strike, with some 4,000 students affected.
Superintendent Ellen Correll posted the following statement to the district's Website shortly before midnight Tuesday. Parents were also notified via an automated phone call.
Unfortunately, the Board of Education and D46 teachers were unable to reach an agreement. The teachers have informed the district that they will be on strike beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, January 16th. Please watch the website for further updates.
Jim Pergander, business agent for Lake County Federal of Teachers Local 504, told Patch teachers would be on the picket line at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at each school building.
On the D46 Facebook page, residents voiced their disappointment that the strike could not be avoided.
"Extremely disappointing," posted Angela Tossman
"I was really hoping this could be avoided," posted Jaisey Kapshandy-Stanton.
"This REALLY stinks!!!" posted Erica Chavez.
"Well, good luck. Power to the teachers," posted Paul Scott.
"Feeling so sad, on both sides...everyone loses tonight..." posted Lisa Rogers Burkhart.
Champions and the Grayslake Park District have offered daycare programs for the students.
Champions will operate from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting Wednesday at Prairieview School. Meadowview will only be open as an overflow space.
The park district is offering two strike camps. The first will be held Wednesday through Friday at the Park District Community Center. An expanded program will be available starting Tuesday, Jan. 22 at Grayslake Middle School.
Teacher contract negotiations began in Feb. 2012. Teachers have been without a contract since July 1, 2012.
In October, the school board declared an impasse, and the union authorized a strike.
Throughout negotiations, the main sticking point has been teacher compensation.
Initially, the union proposed a 3 percent salary increase for two contract years. While the board accepted having a two-year contract, it held firm on instituting a salary freeze with no step or lane changes. However, the board offered to give all certified staff who have not submitted a notice to retire a $1,000 stipend in year two, which would cost the district about $300,000.
At the Nov. 28 negotiating session, teachers said they would agree to continue working at their current 2011-12 salary schedule for next school year, but they wanted lane change compensation paid in February 2013, which would cost $200,000, and two salary steps scheduled for Sept. 2013 and March 2014, which would cost $750,000, according to the district.
Last Friday's session included the union's suggestion of having a one year contract with a salary increase of about 1.75 percent for 2012-13, which the district would not agree to.
- 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: Another negotiation session is held.
- Jan. 12: Both sides agree to negotiate once more on Jan. 15.
- Jan. 15: An eleventh hour session fails to bring about an agreement.
- Jan. 16: Day 1 of the teachers' strike.
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