Mike McGue, president of the Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504, told Patch the District 46 Board of Education has declared an impasse under Illinois law and that the "last, best offer (from the board) has been made."
When asked to comment, District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll told Patch, "Not at this time, thanks."
The union, which covers 300 district teachers, had its last bargaining meeting with the school board Tuesday night.
"We remain committed to collective bargaining," said McGue.
Because the district has declared an impasse, said McGue, 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, could be posted within a week, said McGue.
"The board is walking away from negotiations, not the union," said McGue.
On Monday, McGue said the union will go to its members to discuss the district's last offer and possibly vote to authorize a strike or call for intermediary action.
"This doesn't mean we are going to strike," said McGue. "This will send notice to the board that we are willing to strike if we have to, but that's not our hope."
"Our hope is to reach resolution," said McGue.
The District 46 teachers' union voted to strike in 2008, said McGue, but it never came to fruition, and the union agreed to a 3-year contract.
For the 2010-11 school year, said McGue, the union accepted a salary reduction "to protect jobs."
According to a report in today's Daily Herald, the union took a base pay raise of 2.75 percent for the 2010-11 school year instead of the originally scheduled 4 percent to help the district bridge a budget deficit. In exchange for those reductions, teachers received a contract extension for 2011-12 that included raises of about 4 percent.
That contract expired at the end of June 2012.
McGue 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.