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UPDATED: Strike Date Set in District 46

Unable to come to an agreement at their last negotiating session on Monday, the teachers union has announced a strike date of Jan. 16.

Update, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 3 p.m.

Jim Pergander, business agent for the Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 540, told Patch the Jan. 16 strike date was chosen because "we wanted to give everyone enough time to prepare."

The date, he said, "looks like it's way out there, but it's closer than we think."

The holidays were another reason the date was set in January.

However, said Pergander, "Our priority is to settle this at the table."

Another negotiating session is scheduled for Nov. 28. Pergander said whether the strike happens "literally depends on how things go on the 28th."

That does not mean, though, that both sides can't or won't have an additional session beyond that date if they are close to a settlement, he said.

After Monday's session, Pergander said there has been "limited progress" in contract negotiations, which D46 Supt. Ellen Correll confirmed.

To date, the district has spent $45,000 in attorney fees related to contract negotiations.

Update, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 11:15 a.m.

District 46 Supt. Ellen Correll told Patch that at this time, the district had no plans to keep the school buildings open should the strike happen. She also said she did not know why the strike date of Jan. 16 was chosen, but guessed it was "to give both sides an opportunity to meet and solve the issues," as there is another negotiating session on Nov. 28.

Correll said there has been "limited progress" on the contract sticking points and that she was not at liberty to divulge further details.

Original Post

The following announcement was posted on the Website of Grayslake School District 46. Patch is working to obtain additional information, so keep checking back.

LCFT Teachers' Union Strike Date Announced
The District 46 Board of Education and the Grayslake Federation of Teachers met again last night (November 12) and were unable to come to agreement. The teachers have declared January 16, 2013 as their strike date. Both sides have agreed to meet again on November 28. Please continue to monitor the CCSD 46 website for more information as it is available.

Ellen Correll
Superintendent of Schools

Negotiations

The school board and union (Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504) had its first negotiating session with a federal mediator on Oct. 30. The last session was held Nov. 12. Another session is scheduled for Nov. 28 and is expected to be the final session before the Jan. 16 strike date.

In October, the union, which represents more than 300 District 46 teachers, voted to authorize a strike as a result of the school board declaring an impasse in contract negotiations.

Both sides have made their best and final offers available for public inspection.

The school board and union have reached a tentative agreement on all non-economic items brought forth during negotiations, but sticking points remain related to salary, retirement and flex benefits teachers can receive in lieu of health insurance.

Teacher Negotiations to Continue in District 46

D46 School Board and Teachers' Union Post Final Contract Offers

D46 Teachers' Union Approves Authorization to Strike if Necessary

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

Terri November 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM
There are promises that need to be kept. I would suggest you try not paying your mortgage, taxes and car payment to see what happens when you don't do what you said you'd do. I won't argue whether or not you're obtuse; however, the term might fit if you continue to see only one side of the issue.
Benjamin Dover November 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Oh Terri the teacher, how you contradict yourself. You say: "Why would teachers strike in July? No one would listen. The kids are not being used as pawns." And just why wouldn't they listen, because the kids aren't in school. So it is only worthwhile for them to strike when the kids are in school. Hence any reasonably intelligent human being can understand the kids are used as pawns - but that leave you out. And you are teaching our kids? You say that "we don't pay their salary" in one breath and in the next you say the money for their salary comes from taxpayers. So, in fact, "we do pay their salary". Decide which story you are going to use and stick to it would ya. Trust me, you last name is not that important to me. Now go back to painting your picket sign.
Jose Cuervo November 26, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Terri the difference between you and I is that I do see both sides. Ironic that you elude to answering my rhetorical question when you yourself have been the only person to continually force feed your opinion as fact to the rest of us. There are plenty of us who struggle to pay our mortgages, taxes, car payments because we've lost jobs, not seen increases, taken pay cuts (which is vastly different than taking a lower increase in salary). If you want to keep boo-hooing about broken promises, take it to the state. As far as the district goes, the current contract has expired, ergo, no promises.
Terri November 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Jose You need to learn a bit more about contract law. The promise survives expiration until fully executed.
Jose Cuervo November 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Terri, you need to learn a lot more about economics. Here's a lesson for you: When you don't have it, you can't give it. It doesn't get any more simple than this.
Terri November 27, 2012 at 12:01 AM
That's not necessarily true. But then you probably feel that if you stop paying your mortgage or car payment, you should be able to keep your house and car. Savings aren't always instant. Sometimes you invest in balance through deficit.
Jose Cuervo November 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Your philosophy of "investing in balance through deficit" is more commonly refered to as "robbing peter to pay paul". With that mindset, you must work for the state.
Terri November 27, 2012 at 01:29 AM
No...that has actually been the board's approach in their last offer.
HM November 27, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Terri, where, exactly, should the money come from to ensure that every teacher continues to get more while the rest of us are stuck with less? Please outline where those dollars are. As to you comments above about broken promises, there needs to be a new contract. The existing contract's promises were met, and now there will need to be a new one. No one can promise anyone they will get something in 25 years because no one can see into the future to know for certain that the promise is feasible. Sometimes we need to make adjustments, and now, as far as I can tell, is the time for such adjustments. The private sector lost pensions years ago. Very few employers offer them becasue no one can pay an retiree for doing nothing for years. Perhaps you should study economics to know that you can fund these things perpetually. Teachers can retire at 55-56. Average life span is now over 75. Let's say a teacher contributes, over their career, $210,000 (10% of $60,000 for 35 years - used 60K as an average - when they retire, the pension will be based on their highest three years.). That $210,000 will not go too far over 20 years (assuming a life span of 75). For 20 years, that would average $10,500 per year, but we all know the pension will be much higher than that. So, that brings me back to my question - where will the money come from?
HAL E BERGER November 27, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Terri you are just one more in a long line of people who speak a loud sound and do not identify themselves as they throw stones. Of course taxpayers sign their paychecks maybe not in signature but in reality without our property tax payments there would be no school district -- so please cut the nonsense. As for public worker strikes, that too is nonsense and don't give me the kids will be hurt. We have seen many out of work and have lost their homes as the strike puts the district in a place to just keep on spending as if life in this country hasn't changed enough already. I guess to me I don't mind the children being briefly inconvenienced if people stop losing their homes and stop losing their jobs. their children are being torn from their schools and uprooted from their lifestyles. It just seems anytime someone wants something in a school district and the argument doesn't go their way they use the children as a shield rather than face the reality and ask teachers to stand down and start making a few more reality checks. It's time they thought about the children.
Terri November 27, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Actually, they cannot retire at 55 without significant penalty. At 55 with 30 years service a pension might be $40-$50k. If the state had followed the law and made their contributions over the past 30 years, the annuity would be more than enough to cover the pension promise. A budget deficit isn't wiped out in a single stroke. Good planning, sensible concessions, and a supportive community can turn this deficit to surplus in a few short years. That's what reserves are for.
HAL E BERGER November 27, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Terri --- One more thing, If children are so important to the teachers why is there a strike date set? Perhaps you have never lost a job or are in a job you can't lose with no risk? That isn't the case for most of us, We are at risk everyday. Or maybe you just can't see or understand just how big an economic problem this country and our state are in today? Like I said you are not identifiied and not standing in the light of day and that makes your words less than credible and perhps even more so unreliable. My name is attached to my views along with all that that entails publicly. My name was public when I was on the D46 Board, when I was Preesident of the D46 Bpoard, and it is today public today. So why don't you just include your real name?
HAL E BERGER November 27, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Terri -- Balance through deficit !!! -- This is an absurd concept and utter nonsense - what kind of a statement is that. There is no such thing as balance through deficit just fools play. Deficits mean simply someone later will have to pay for what you don't have the courage to avoid today. More debt that burdens future citizens and our children. Talk about caring for the children - what about their econmic futures? Are we to remain fools forever as a society? The Board I was president of replaced by election a board that thought it could spend endlessly. We didn't and some people did get angry at us but the district was left in good shape for future board members. Now the current board faces tough choices and we will see what they do soon enough.
Joe Fox November 27, 2012 at 02:42 AM
I wonder what a fair teachers' salary should be in the Grayslake community? $50k? $25k? $10k? I believe the current average is $52k in D46, which is well below the state average. Can a head-of-household teacher supporting a family of 4 do so in Grayslake on a salary of $40k? Should an educator who has invested in a bachelor and master degrees be paid more than $50k? I wonder how this compares to other respectable jobs in the community? Should the residents of the district expect to pay their teachers "comparable" salaries of surrounding communities? Should Grayslake teachers just view their jobs as temporary stepping stones to jobs in "better" communities in "better" districts? It would be interesting to hear thoughts from posters.
Terri November 27, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Why is my name so important? It wouldn't change my view if I published it. Again, the children will not miss out on any class time; strike or no strike. If a strike weren't effective, then a date wouldn't be set. It seems to me it would be in everyone's best interest to negotiate sensibly. As for the "strait line" we pay their salaries argument, I'm sorry but it just doesn't fly. That is not the way our system works. You know that. And again, teachers are taxpayers too.
HM November 27, 2012 at 03:00 AM
You made my point for me - they can retire at 55, and collect a pension of $50k, and they contributed only about 10% of that in their pension contributions. See, in the real world, I contribute the max to my 401(k), 6.5 percent to social security (which I can not collect until I am 68. If I am lucky, my 401k will earn money over the years, and when I am 59.5 I can start collecting it. However, All I get to collect is what I put in, and whatever gains that makes. My employer does match a very small amount - about $1500 per year to 2500 per year, depending on how the company is doing, but over 85% of the contributions are from my salary. Why should teachers be treated any differently in this economic climate. AND...what is on the table is not even a cut, just a smaller increase. The absurdity of this is amazing to me. AND...you never answered my question, Terri. Where would you suggest we find the money?
Lennie Jarratt November 27, 2012 at 03:08 AM
10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About IL State Pensions. 1. Taxpayers have contributed more, not less, than the 1995 50-year pension funding law required. 2. Since 2001, taxpayers have contributed 230% more than teachers to the Teachers Retirement System. 3. Less than 1% of state retirees worked 40 years. 4. The supposedly "modest" average state pensions are worth 4 times Social Security. 5. State retirees have used more than 132,000 years of sick-leave credit to receive extra pension without actually having to work for it. 6. Over 44,000 retirees have annual pensions greater than their total contributions over their entire career. 7. The reason TRS pension liability is so high is because teachers are vastly overpaid compared to adjoining states. 8. If IL teachers had the same salary and pension schedule as Wisconsin, we would save more than $4 billion/yr. enough to make the annual pension payment. 9. If the pension rules in effect in 1970 when the "Pension Guarantee" was added to the state constitution were still in effect there would be no unfunded pension liability. 10. Teachers’ unions have given IL politicians of both parties more than $50 million in contributions since 1995. http://www.championnews.net/2012/10/23/10-things-you-probably-dont-know-about-il-state-pensions-2/
WorriedParent November 27, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Terri, yes teachers are taxpayers too however most of them are not Grayslake residents so therefore their taxes may or may not be going up to pay our teachers demands. Perhaps they live in a community who can actually balance their budget and may have means to increase their teachers salaries. We don't. You talk about the reserves which Grayslake does not have. The fund the union thinks we have to use to pay the teachers demands is already earmarked for bills that have to be paid and we are still short in this fund. That is what people are trying to state....to pay teachers their demands, we would have to dip into this fund which means we would not have enough to cover the bills we have to pay. Therefore, we would then have to find a way to pay for those things like transportation, interest on bonds, etc....where would that money come from then? That is the borrow from Peter to pay Paul concept. To do this, the board needs to make some serious hard decisions and that will include teacher layoffs. Did you notice the board snuck in a quick Levy meeting this morning? They almost didn't make their 20 day notice to the public before they vote on increasing the tax levy. Their current deficit budget already takes into account this upcoming tax levy....which means they will still be in a deficit.
Terri November 27, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Joe Thank you. First of all, a teacher with a family of 4 in CCSD 46 would be paying $15,000 plus off-the-top for health insurance. I don't believe teachers in the district use it as a stepping stone. We have many quality career teachers in the district. The Golden Apple Foundation has recognized 250 teachers for excellence over the past 25 years. A dozen of those were from Lake County. 3 were from CCSD 46. Contrary to public opinion in the community, at least on these boards, the teachers really do what they do for the kids. They don't aspire to be the next president of the 5th grade, or look forward to the next promotion. They pay generously from their own pockets for children's supplies, even food and clothes. They fund their pensions double what the private sector is required, while their employer illegally takes "pension holidays" for decades. The district board made an offer to the teachers that was overtly an attempt to polarize them. It failed miserably and we're all paying the price. Both sides need to sit down and be sensible.
WorriedParent November 27, 2012 at 03:13 AM
And yes, our kids will most likely get their required amount of time in school whether in Jan or in June, at least the teachers who strike will have to wait to get paid for Jan in June (as I believe teachers do not get paid when they strike) however, in June some of those teachers may not have a job. Heck, it might start happening in the Spring! I am hoping the board sticks to their guns, and doesn't give what they don't have.
Terri November 27, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Their pension might be $50k if they were making $80 k at retirement. You do not pay 6.5 toward SS...you pay 4.2%. The value of the 30 year $210,000 annuity at 6% would be a million dollars; even without the state's obligatory contribution. That million would continue to work long after the retiree drew it down. I have answered your question in a number of replies...please review
Terri November 27, 2012 at 03:26 AM
From the IMF... "Judging whether deficits are bad A common complaint about economics is that the answer to any question is, “It all depends.” It is true that economic theory tells us that whether a deficit is good or bad depends on the factors giving rise to that deficit, but economic theory also tells us what to look for in assessing the desirability of a deficit."
Terri November 27, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Mr Jarratt Has the board had the opportunity to review your proposal yet? I was serious when I said I was looking forward to seeing some good ideas. Something constructive.
HM November 27, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Terry - I only paid 4.5% for the last two years due to a very short sighted and, in my opinion, foolish decision by the president to pander to his constituency and decrease our SS payments even though the SS funds can not afford to lose that money. We will pay dearly for this later, and we will be paying 6.5% again January 1, just as I have been paying since my first job in high school. Also, my 401k monies will not likely amount to my salary when I retire either. For the vast majority of us, that is life, and we prepare for that as best we can. Teachers can do the same. As I mention above, my reitirement is funded by me. Teachers retirements are only partially funded by them. The rest comes from tax payers. If you don't like what the state has done, take it up at that level. This district does not happen to have any money. You have yet to say where it will come from. This district has not had good planning for the last two superintendents - and I don't see that changing. What concession are the teachers willing to make? Taking a smaller increase is not a concession..it is still an increase. There is no money, Terri. Hard decisions have to be made. The private sector has been making these decisions for the last few years. It is time the public sector catches up.
Jim Jensen November 27, 2012 at 05:49 AM
39 emails today from this string; I am starting to change my opinion about teacher bashing...No one questions devotion of teachers to their students, so don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. The issue is MONEY, we have none left to give. Contracts can be severed, legally, with cause—contract law is my profession. There has been enough of passing the buck in Grayslake, so much so that the taxpayers have no more to give. Go ahead and put this to a public vote, my bet is that the schools will close indefinitely until a reasonable solution can be found. Keep up the rhetoric and the gov’t may just step in and clean house just like CPS. Be grateful you still have a job, can pay your bills and have medical coverage—you are better off than most at this time. BTW, district medical coverage is 200% better than anyone of us in the private sector can get, so take that into consideration on compensation.
Terri November 27, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Jim...I agree that this is out of hand; however, while a Contract may on occasion be severed for cause, running out of money to fulfill a commitment when there is evidence of mismanagement would never qualify as cause. My business too, is contract law. Really...I am not a teacher. I just respect them.
Terri November 27, 2012 at 02:37 PM
"An employer is required by law to bargain in good faith with a union, although an employer is not required to agree to any particular terms. Once an agreement is reached through negotiations, a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is signed. A CBA is a negotiated agreement between a labor union and an employer that sets terms of employment for members of that union and provisions for wages, hours, conditions, vacation, sick days, benefits, etc. After a CBA is signed, an employer can’t change anything detailed in the agreement without the union representative’s approval. The CBA lasts for a set period of time, and the union monitors the employer to make sure the employer abides by the contract. If a union believes an employer has breached the CBA, the union can file a grievance, which may be ultimately resolved through a process known as arbitration." Please note that a CBA may contain provisions that survive the expiration of the Contract (Like CCSD 46's).
WorriedParent November 27, 2012 at 02:39 PM
We are all aware of the mismanagement and thankfully there is an election soon to help change things. But in the meantime running out of money to me seems like just cause if there ever was one. We all still ask, where would the money come from to meet their demands? And from what I understand, the current contract has expired therefore there is no contract to severe.
Terri November 27, 2012 at 02:54 PM
WP You don't know that an acceptable agreement wouldn't include the appropriate savings over time. The board's offer to permanently reduce the salary of 1/3 of the teachers to give 2/3 a bonus equal to about a cup of coffee each school day for a year was insulting and polarizing. There are myriad ways to turn the deficit into a surplus over a few years without raising taxes. They need to be explored. What do you think would happen to any municipality, or our country for that matter, if they tried to balance a mismanaged budget in one pen stroke. And on the backs of a random few, while giving to a different random few. It often can't be done. It takes time, sensible concessions and a supportive community.
LMJ November 29, 2012 at 04:51 AM
I wonder if given the choice, would D46 teachers do this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoQICRKhkW4&feature=share

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