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D46 Residents Voice Concerns Over Pending Strike

With the D46 school board and the teachers' union running out of time, the board hosts a 'Town Meeting' to discuss contract negotiations and sticking points with concerned residents over a pending strike.

With a strike date less than one week away, at least 50 residents turned out for a 'Town Meeting' Wednesday night hosted by the Grayslake School District 46 Board. The public was given a chance to voice concerns about the contract negotiations between the board and the teachers' union.

One concern brought up by several residents was the safety of students if a strike were to happen.

"The substitutes that would come in are not trained on the safety procedures in the school," said Colleen Wade of Grayslake, questioning how the board could ensure the students are safe in the case of an emergency with 99% of the staff unfamiliar with the buildings.

The district is accepting applications for temporary substitute certified teachers and non-certified staff in the event of a strike.

Superintendent Ellen Correll said they are interviewing all substitute teachers and would have them trained to ensure the safety of the students is the top priority.

Another concern raised was about working parents, and where they could send their children. Correll said the plan is to provide childcare at Meadowview and Prairieview Schools.

At the first town hall meeting Correll stated that she has reached out to the district's Champions childcare program, which agreed to offer programs from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at those schools for $33 per day, per student.

One bus driver urged the board to remember who is ultimately being affected. "I saw it when we consolidated bus routes; some of the kids are on the bus for 25 to 45 minutes. It has affected the students. These little things are big adaptations for the kids, please remember that."

Another parent suggested the board consider an if-then clause in the contract in regards to state funding changes. According to the board,

Beth Schwab said teachers may be more willing to negotiate a contract if they see a future plan for grant writing if state funding is decreased.

The Contract Terms

The board and union's 'best and final offers' were brought forth at the last bargaining session Nov. 28. The terms currently stand as:

  • Both sides agree to a 2-year contract term.
  • The district is sticking to a salary freeze with no step or lane changes for the first year. In the second year the board has offered to give all certified staff who have not submitted for a notice to retire a $1,000 stipend, which could cost the district about $300,000.
  • The union agrees to continue working at their current 2011-12 salary schedule for next school year, but they want lane change compensation paid in February 2013, which would cost $200,000. Teachers are also asking for two salary steps scheduled for Sept. 2013 and March 2014, which would cost $750,000, according to the district.

In the Event of a Strike

Supt. Correll said they will continue to post updates regarding negotiations on the D46 website.

In the event of a strike on Jan. 16 Correll said parents should check the website often and that the automated phone system would call all parents Tuesday night, Jan. 15.

The Next Step

The school board and union are scheduled to meet Friday, January 11 in hopes of coming to an agreement.

Ray Millington, D46 school board president and D46 union president Diane Elfering can agree on one thing. Both have told Patch they are willing to meet as long as it takes to reach an agreement in hopes of averting a strike.

Terri January 14, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Charles... In a successful negotiation, both parties win. That could happen in this situation as well. Referring to the course of action as cave, capitulate, or surrender is offensive and inaccurate. In all cases where you used or wanted to use those particular verbs, you were baiting. Number 3 works for me with one change; instead of "holding firm on union labor costs", insert, " negotiate contracts and salaries that in the long term provide financial benefit to the district".
Benjamin Dover January 14, 2013 at 09:10 PM
Per YOUR source: "Aggregate household income in Grayslake in 2009: $745,930,991" "2009 population of Grayslake at 21,698" (this includes every man, woman and child, regardless of age) When you divide $745,930,991 by 21,698, you get $34,378. Where do you get your $24K figure from. I provide clear info where I get my figure from...why can't you? Now you ask: "the average individual wage earner in Grayslake will receive a raise in income in the neighborhood of 3%. Why not the average teacher?" Average Pay Raises for the Past 13 years: D46 Teachers Everybody Else 99-00 9.98% - Average US Worker raise in 1999 - 5.3% 00-01 6.54% - Average US Worker raise in 2000 - 5.2% 01-02 5.78% - Average US Worker raise in 2001 - 2.3% 02-03 5.84% - Average US Worker raise in 2002 - 1.0% 03-04 5.39% - Average US Worker raise in 2003 - 2.4% 04-05 6.37% - Average US Worker raise in 2004 - 4.4% 05-06 5.20% - Average US Worker raise in 2005 - 3.5% 06-07 5.21% - Average US Worker raise in 2006 - 4.4% 07-08 5.20% - Average US Worker raise in 2007 - 4.3% 08-09 3.96% - Average US Worker raise in 2008 - 2.2% 09-10 3.96% - Average US Worker raise in 2010 - (-1.5%) 10-11 2.75% - Average US Worker raise in 2010 - 2.3% 11-12 3.96% - Average US Worker raise in 2011 - 3.0% (source National Average Wage Index) They already got more than their fair share the past 13 years. Why did they deserve more all those years?
Terri January 14, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Ben, Ben, Ben... In my example, phrased as a question you never answered, the per capita answer was $24k.
Lennie Jarratt January 16, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Reminder - 7pm at State Bank of the Lakes, 50 Commerce Dr, Grayslake. Townhall meeting to discuss the strike. Hosted by For Our Children's Future.
James Mench January 17, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Amazing how many want to cheap their childrens education out. You should want the best for them. The best isn't cheap. What the teachers want is hardly out of line. I look at this this way. A babysitter at $2/he /child costs $3000 per child per school year. How much is the school portion of your property taxes? In short, a well paid teacher is cheaper than a poorly paid babysitter.

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