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Grayslake D46 Teachers' Union Prepares to Vote to Authorize a Strike

Contract negotiations between the Grayslake District 46 Board of Education and teachers' union have stalled. The district has declared an impasse, according to the Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504.

The Grayslake School District 46 teachers' union could vote to authorize a strike at its closed-session meeting Monday, as a result of stalled contract negotiations with the school board.

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.

WorriedParent October 16, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Yes, we understand teachers are people too, who have families and needs. Our point is that while the taxpayers are not receiving bonuses or salary increases and our medical costs continue to rise (in essence we have been taking pay cuts each year) we are stating that why do teachers feel they deserve increases in an economy like this. No one in the private or public sectors are getting raises, yet the teachers are still getting theirs and now they want more. Last contract they settled on 2.75% increases over 4%, which we were grateful. We think teachers deserve a decent salary but now they still want more? And a possible strike where now it is not about the kids but about the money and benefits. To parents, this feels like a strong arm method from unions to get what they want to the detriment of the kids. And I do not recall seeing this reserve as slotted for teacher salaries. That is bond money that is in reserve...heck we couldn't even get air conditioning in 2 schools but you want to use it to pay teachers an even bigger salary increase than they are already getting? I would be elated if I had gotten 2.75% increase over the last 3 years Per your math, a household that pays $6,000/year for 190 days of their child's education = $33/day, also means a teacher making 50,000 is making $263/day to teach. Sound like you have a great deal too.
Terri October 16, 2012 at 09:58 PM
$30 an hour for a teacher is a great deal? That's what a dental hygienist makes. Your teacher isn't worth as much? BTW...teachers, like much of those in the private sector, work way beyond 8 hours...your dental hygienist would probably get overtime.
Pete Gardner October 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM
"There is plenty in reserve to do right by the teachers in this contract"; Terri, I support teachers and want them to be the best we can afford; but to make a comment like "do right by the teachers" goes to many of the points people here have made. That type is a statement of division. Consider this example: I show up every day. I do my job well. My job has a direct impact on the economy.I am responsible for dozens of other employees. I have performed above company standards as have the employees who work for me. Every one of them works more than 40 hours/week. I haven't had an increase in 3 years. Neither have they. I was given the directive to decrease my staff by 9 people. I negotiated with my employer to reducing by 6. I was fortunate to be able to keep my own job. I take nothing for granted knowing that there is no certainty via a contract that my job will be there tomorrow. I can't demand that my employer dip into their reserve, profit, pocket and pay me and my staff what is "right by us". For tomorrow, we have a job to go to. Today, this is going to have to be enough.
WorriedParent October 16, 2012 at 10:13 PM
We all work way beyond 8 hours a day, and year round. Most people's hours have increased while having to take more responsibilities as companies downsize, all with no pay increase! Most of our salaries would probably equate to $15-25/hour (or less.) You see we all are in the same boat. And dental hygienist are important people too.
Terri October 16, 2012 at 10:34 PM
I apologize if my statement was divisive. Didn't mean it to be. If your company is profitable as result of your effort, I would hope you'd be rewarded. I made no inference that a teacher resents the same above and beyond they provide like those in the private sector. Our teachers are underpaid compared to those in surrounding districts. The average income in 60073 & 60030 $40 per hour.
Sandra Sims October 16, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Where are you getting these figures? 75k as a top teacher salary? I just did a quick search and found a Sun Times database showing the 2009-2010 D46 salaries and 75k is certainly not the top figure. More like 99k, and that's 2 years ago. And yes, the administrators make far more, with the spectacularly incompetent Ellen Correll making 215k after her insane 14% increase in 2010, But 75k for a doctorate? The top earners on thiis database all have master's. Your numbers are wrong.
HM October 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Nick - from the school's website: http://ww2.d46.org/district/distpdf/pa97-0609-1213.pdf There is a list of all district employees with contracts over $75K. Granted, it includes administrators, but there are a lot of teachers who are pushing six figures.
HM October 16, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Terri - see this link: http://ww2.d46.org/district/distpdf/pa97-0609-1213.pdf This is posted on the D46 website. In reply to your above comment: Teachers do not get vacation days, but they do get plenty of sick days, which they get paid for if they do not use them. (double dipping - get paid for the day you worked, and when you retire, you get paid for the days you did not get sick. crazy). They also get a few personal days each year, Winter Break, Spring Break and 2 months in the summer. Also - and this is in response to your reply to me above- you do realize that D46 teachers do not contribute more that 6.5% of their income to their pensions. (that is what the private sector contributes to Social Security, proir to Obama cutting it to 4.5%, which will come back to haunt us all later). The latest data show that they don't contribute anything, but I am not certain that is correct, so I won't cite it. Also, teachers can retire after 27 years (age 51) and collect 75% of the highest three year avg. salary. Can the public sector do that on Social Security? I don't think so. Also, Private sector workers, in order to have any chance at retirement have to fund it themselves by contributing to a 401(k) or IRA, so on top of the 6.5 % we have to give to Soc. Sec., we must save even more. Where do you get your facts on what teacher's in D46 pay toward their healthcare premiums. Please cite where they pay more than $6,000 out of pocket. Please cite the reference.
WorriedParent October 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM
60030 is Grayslake, and compare D46 to Prospect Heights (60073)? They have 1,484 student in D23 compared to our 4,000 students in D46, and per the school report card D23 local taxes received as revenue is $17m compared to D46 $28m. As you can see Grayslake is already taxed to the max.
HM October 16, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Terri - You told Pete there is "plenty in reserve" to "do right" by the teachers? You are clearly not from around here are you? We have no reserve. We have $1.2 million gaping hole of a deficit, so where, exactly, is our "reserve"? Please get your facts straight before you rant about how unfairly teachers are treated, and do a little homework on the facts of what our teachers already get. It seems you just want to throw out ideas that somehow teachers are victims, yet you do not know the facts. Smells like a troll to me!
Pete Gardner October 16, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Terri since you were brave enough to post here I hope you will consider one more thing, I am trying to view this from both sides and hope you will consider my humble opinion: If the district has a surplus it would be irresponsible to use it on salaries.Sooner or later you will run out of that surplus. Round Lake did that and went broke. Use your own home as an example: If you don't have enough money to pay the bills but have a savings account, you use that money to help you through rough times. You don't use your savings to increase your spending.
Terri October 17, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Sick days do not get cashed out if unused. 200 can be applied to years of service...not cash. They get 2 personal days. They do not get paid vacations. They are paid only for the days they work...190. Teachers contribute nearly 10% to their pensions...don't know where you got 6.5%. A teacher cannot retire with a pension at 51. At 55, with 31 years, earning $75k would receive a pension of approximately 58% of the highest 3 years. Individual health and dental is $6,250. A family can run as high as $20,000 (HMO v ppo). All out of pocket, off the top.
Terri October 17, 2012 at 12:06 AM
60073 is round lake
Terri October 17, 2012 at 12:07 AM
There is a surplus in the fund that pays teacher salaries. The deficit is in other funds. It is not a net deficit.
Terri October 17, 2012 at 12:08 AM
By law, the surplus cannot be used to offset deficits in other funds.
Terri October 17, 2012 at 12:20 AM
PS...per your link...those with vacation days are staff and do not receive TRS pensions. Also note the huge difference in benefits they receive vs. teachers.
HM October 17, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Terrify, please cite where you see that teachers pay 100% of their premiums. No one pays $20,000 out of pocket. If you can show me where, in the current contract, that the district passes 100% of the premiums to thee teachers, I have a bridge to sell you. Now, if the $20,000 figure refers to a high deductible plan, then that is diffrent altogether. Those plans come with next to no premiums and an HSA is attatched to it. As for the 6.5%, that is what private sector employees pay to soc sec. Please cite where D46 teachers pay over 9% toward their pensions. I would appreciate the evidence. Finally, they get paid for 190 days. Right. And there are 270 work says for people who work all year, mostly of whom do not have salary and benefit packages nearly as generous as those of teachers. Oh...one more thing. Please show us all in the budget where the surplus is. The budget is on the website. Thanks!
HM October 17, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Terrify...read my comments after the link. I specifically said teachers don't get vacation days.
Terri October 17, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Agreed...but the same sentence indicated teachers can "cash out" sick days...they cannot. And it's Terri, sir.
Terri October 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Request the addendum to the current contract for teachers hired before December 16, 2005. It's right there in black and white. No HSA offered either. It's 9.4%, sorry http://trs.illinois.gov/subsections/employers/employerservices.htm Working all year, again, is irrelevant. The average d46 resident has an income greater than the average d46 teacher. If you've reviewed the budget, you know there is a surplus in that fund.
HM October 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM
My apologies for misspelling your name..autocorrect on my phone. So sorry. Regarding sick time, if they can't that is new, and the fact that they can use it to buy time results in much the same when it comes to how long the public pays out pensions.
Lorax October 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
To become more informed go read the Chicago Daily Herald article online.
Lorax October 17, 2012 at 12:50 AM
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20121016/news/710169763/
Terri October 17, 2012 at 12:51 AM
It is not new. No cash out in 20 years to my knowledge. Based on your example earlier, the retiree would receive a boost to lifetime retirement of $37,000 (based on a life expectancy of age 78)
WorriedParent October 17, 2012 at 01:31 AM
That is insane! The teachers want 6% increase for 4 years for those retiring, and the board is offering 5% for three years. Seems reasonable, given the fact that this process is crazy to begin with. Bump up a teachers pay for 3 years straight at the highest pay they will make so that is the 3 year average they get to use to retire on. What a deal!
WorriedParent October 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Terri, income of a d46 residents and d46 teacher is irrelevant. They should not be compared and used as a basis for how much a teacher should make. Besides many teachers don't even live in d46. And I believe the comparison of a teachers 190 days vs public sector's 270 is also a good argument. You indicate many teachers work more than the 8 hours a day, just like the taxpayers, yet we have to do it for many more days a year than a teacher. Many of us making lesser salaries than those posted on the salary list. That list is not all administrators...many are teachers. I see some teachers making more than administrators!
Terri October 17, 2012 at 02:33 AM
WP HM indicated teachers have better salary/benefit packages than the private sector...my comment was an answer to that. Teachers are tax payers, too; you seem to frame your comments as if they weren't. Teachers are paid to work 190 days. On any other day, there are no students in the buildings. Teachers, on average, make less than those in the districts private sector. I'm sorry that you make less. You might consider a carrer in education; or as a dental hygienist.
Jim Loeffler October 29, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Simple question to all...what is the dollar amount my tax bill will increase by if we give the teachers what they want?
tim spencer January 06, 2013 at 10:10 PM
We should all agree that the teachers deserve a pay raise in line with cost of living... the question is ... is there enough money to maintain a somewhat healthy system?
Tee January 16, 2013 at 03:03 AM
There is a recession and many people have no jobs and losing their homes, especially in Grayslake. The market value is down, no one now a days are getting raises do to the economy. When we get out of a recession and the economy gets better then they should get raises like everyone else. I don't get 3 months vacation and 2 weeks off during the winter holidays. I'm just happy I have a job in this market that where there is no such thing as job security. No one is safe and can lose their jobs. I love the teachers but now during these times it not such a smart thing to fight for money. Everyone is struggling, everyone needs to work, kids need to be in school.

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