Lake Forest teachers, board to talk contract
Updated: October 2, 2012 10:25AM
LAKE FOREST – The Lake Forest High School teachers’ union and school board will meet Thursday, Sept. 6, the first contract negotiation session since the Lake Forest Education Association issued a formal notice of intent to strike.
“We continue to be hopeful that an agreement can be reached before Sept. 12,” LFEA spoksman and LFHS math teacher Chuck Gress said Friday morning.
Both sides agreed to the session Thursday, officials said.
Should an agreement not be reached, the union members are set to walk out at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 12.
In a letter sent to parents Aug. 31 and posted on the district’s website, www.lfhs.org, the board said its current proposal is reflective of its “commitment to maintaining competitive offerings to attract and retain the highest quality teachers” and that it remains “steadfast in its commitment to provide fair compensation that is reflective of today’s economic realities.”
Setting a negotiation session is the first movement in the contract stalemate since the LFEA issued its notice of intent to strike to the District 115 board on Aug. 24.
The School Board also said in its letter to parents that it has a detailed strike plan in place.
“If a strike occurs, the Board will outline the specifics of the strike plan,” the letter states.
The two sides last met with the mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on Aug. 23 to resolve the contract dispute that has been ongoing since April.
The LFEA declared an impasse in negotiations on Aug. 10.
The teachers union, which represents 152 certified staff members, and the school board differ over salary increases, out-of-pocket insurance costs and pay scales for new teachers.
The final offers by both sides are available on the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board website at www2.illinois.gov/elrb/Pages/FinalOffers.aspx.
The teachers have been working without a contract since June 30. School started for the 1,700 students at LFHS on Aug. 27.