Lake Forest teachers, board still in stalemate
Updated: September 7, 2012 4:04PM
LAKE FOREST — The Lake Forest High School Board of Education released a strike plan Friday afternoon following an unproductive negotiation session with the Lake Forest Education Association Thursday night.
The teachers are set to strike at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 12 if an agreement is not reached.
In a statement issued Friday afternoon, the board said in the event of a teacher strike there will be no school for the first three days of the strike, but classes will resume on the fourth day, which it anticipates will be Sept. 17. All students are requested to attend school on that day.
For the first three days of the strike:
• Buses will not run nor will students be required to attend.
• The school doors will remain open from 7:50 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. for students and lunch will be available.
• Most athletic participation and extracurricular activities will continue.
• The college application and transcript-request process will continue.
• The school resource center will be open for students needing academic support.
The school calendar for the 2012-13 academic year will be reconfigured to reduce the total number of teacher work days without losing student instruction days, the statement said.
The district will outline specifics of the strike on a daily basis through e-newsletters, website updates and Constant Contact.
According to Chuck Gress, LFHS teacher and LFEA spokesman, no progress was made after two hours of negotiations Thursday.
“The LFEA offered to meet with the board on Tuesday, September 11th at any time after the close of the school day. The board refused,” Gress said.
The Board of Education explained in a letter e-mailed to parents Friday afternoon that it could not meet on Sept. 11 due to a scheduled school board meeting at which a state-required budget presentation will be made. The board suggested a Sept. 10 mediation meeting, according to a statement released by Joy Murawski, LFHS communications person.
Gress said the teachers “remain hopeful that a fair and equitable contract can be reached.”
Thursday’s negotiation session was the first since the LFEA issued a formal notice of intent to strike on Aug. 24.
The final offers by both the District 115 board and the LFEA are available at www2.illinois.gov/elrb/Pages/FinalOffers.aspx.
Statements issued by the school board to the community since October 2011 when contract negotiations began are available on the district website at www.lfhs.org.
The LFEA Thursday launched its own website at www.lakeforestteachers.com to update the community on its position.
The LFHS teachers union represents 152 certified staff members. The union and school board negotiators differ over salary increases, out-of-pocket insurance costs and pay scales for new teachers.