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Details from LFHS Strike Agreement Released

The new four-year contract was ratified on Tuesday afternoon.

The Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA) ratified their new four-year contract on Tuesday afternoon, with the Lake Forest Board of Education approving it at their monthly Board meeting that evening. The negotiation of the contract led to a strike in September.

The salary portion of the negotiation includes a 2.7% average increase in its first year and a 3.8% increase in the second year. Increases for the third and fourth year are based upon a formula tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), but the estimated raises are 3.6% and 2.4%, for years three and four respectively.

The salary increases are, ultimately, more closely in line with the Board’s submitted proposal than the LFEA’s, with the Board requesting a 2.6% raise in year one with the LFEA requesting 5.6%. For year two’s proposal, the Board requested a 3.4% raise and the LFEA requested a 6.5% raise. In year three, the Board requested a 3.4% increase, with the LFEA requesting a 5.6% increase. For year four, the Board requested a 2.4% raise and the LFEA requested 4.7%.

Health insurance largely looks similar to the previous contract, with HMO and PPO family premium splits changing. (More details are in the attached table.)

The LFEA and the Board also agreed to form a committee formed of members appointed by both groups. The goal of this committee is to recommend a new salary schedule, consistent with recent pension reform legislation.

The agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2012. However, teachers will not be paid for the five school days they were on strike. Additional days have been added to the calendar and were approved at Tuesday’s Board meeting. November  8 and 9, which were originally off for students, will now be mandatory attendance days. January 18 will now be the last day of finals. For the second semester, April 12 will now be a regular school day, with finals extended to June 6. Teachers will also now have four mandatory “teachers only days” on June 7, 10, 11 and 12.

As of right now, the days that students were in session during the strike will not be counted by the state of Illinois as accepted attendance days, but the Board is arguing that decision.

Both the Unfair Labor Practice Claims issued by the Board and the LFEA have been dropped.

“We are pleased to have a new four-year contract in place,” said Board of Education President Sharon Golan in a statement released Tuesday evening. “This newly endorsed contract keeps our district fiscally responsible to the community we serve, and allows our teachers’ compensation to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. We thank our parents, students, staff and community for their patience throughout these difficult negotiations and strike.

At the time of publication, a spokesperson for the LFEA could not be reached for comment.

Donald E. Russ October 10, 2012 at 04:19 AM
In contemplation of both step (seniority) increases and inflation the Board offered a 9.7 percent salary increase over 3 years. The teachers’ union wanted 18.8 percent over 3 years. They settled on 13.1 percent over 4 years, which was 10.4 over the first 3. So, for the next 3 years (to make it apples to apples) the Board agreed to pay 0.75 percentage points more than they originally offered and the teachers’ union agreed to take 8.32 percentage points less than they originally wanted. The math is this: The board offered 1.026 * 1.034 * 1.034 = 1.0969 The LFEA wanted 1.056 * 1.065 * 1.056 = 1.1876 The final 3-year result was 1.027 * 10.38 * 1.036 = 1.1044 and for 4 years was 1.027 * 10.38 * 1.036 * 1.024 = 1.1309 In other words, the strike was just a big waste. The teachers could have continued their record of strike-free accords. Instead they struck and got nothing except a tarnished record. The Board deserves credit. The most lavishly salaried teachers in Illinois asked for the sky but the Board maintained their reasonable position until the teachers came around. This is a teachable moment for the Board, however. The LFEA is willing to ask for the sky and strike to back it up. They have no shame. The Board must be ready to continue LFHS operations without the teachers for weeks, or perhaps months, when this new contract expires. http://www.lfhs.pxxq.com/
Nancy J. Thorner October 10, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Paula Skaggs presented an excellent summary of the new four-year contract approved last night by the District 115 Board, approved earlier in the day by LFHS teachers. Board member, Jim Carey, summed up the contract in a way that made sense to those in attendance when relating how the "Path to Black," was a factor in Board negotiations. Further, Mr. Carey noted that "no longer are we operating in a 6% world. We are now near where the CPS level is. This four-year contract will attract and retain the good teachers we need and further reflects the economic conditions by giving taxpayers a break." I likewise feel, as commented by Donald Ross, that the strike was a big waste. The teachers got so little out of their 4-year contract. Why did it take the LFHS teachers so long to realize that their salary request hike was unreasonable and irrational given existing economic conditions. LFHS teachers are already receiving, on the average, $30,000 more in salary than the average high school teacher is being compensated here in Illinois Their salaries during the 2011-2012 school year were already the highest here in Lake County and perhaps in all of Illinois. Furthermore, LFHS teachers are blessed with a state-of-the-art high school in which to teach provided for by taxpayers.
Stevie Janowski October 10, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Glad to see the board held their ground for the most part, and did what the community thought they should do. Love to hear the teachers have to go four more days in their summer.
Robert T October 10, 2012 at 05:00 PM
This strike clearly "outed" the teachers for what they are. In the past they hid behind the "it's for the kids" arguement. We need a plan in place to get rid of striking teachers and let willing workers take over.
Spunky October 11, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Or perhaps one could read this as the teachers actually being honest during the strike when they said 'it wasn't about the money.' The board dropped the two tier salary system and reopeners in the contract, which were key points the union argued for during the strike.
Jerry Hopkins October 11, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Spunky, I'll go with your comment. The fools who commented previously with cries of "greedy teachers" gives me a good giggle. You're transparent and if you're as bright as you claim to be, you need to offer Nancy a math lesson as her fuzzy math doesn't make sense. Lake Forest, grow up! and support your teachers. Greedy teachers? Really?!?
Think harder October 11, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Everyone wants to be a "winner" in this Charlie Sheen-like "winning" society. Thanks for the math lesson. Glad to read all the comments about how this hand-picked board of "Griffinites" are now such geniuses. Wa wa wa wa....thank god we won't be subjected to any more strike rehashes...
Cathy Spencer October 11, 2012 at 10:20 PM
37 states have laws against teacher strikes for good reason. They cause harm to students, communities and families. They can cause financial harm with burdens to taxpayers and families who have to find extra help with kids. They cause social harm with strained relationships between teachers, community, kids, and families. It is time to get working to enact tough laws to prevent teacher strikes from happening again in our Illinois communities and work toward finding better ways to negotiate.
RationalTht October 12, 2012 at 12:49 AM
The teachers STAYED on strike well past the board dropping those conditions, they were dropped in the first day or two. No, it was about greed, but the teachers were soon put under a microscope when the Chicago teachers settled and their salaries published, etc.
RationalTht October 12, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Yes, greedy - they stayed on strike quite a few days after the board dropped the other supposed "reasons" for striking and almost ruined homecoming for the kids.
Mark Stein October 12, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Despite what was said publicly, the Board did not take the two tier issue off the table until the last day. The Board continued to propose that the issue be sent to a committee that would have the authority to impose a two tier system before bargaining for the next contract even began. The LFEA would not accept this. The committee that is a part of the new contract only has the authority to issue a report. The report will not be binding. Having said that, the new contract is obviously a compromise.
Me October 12, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Yes greedy. The "two tiered" pay scale is only an issue because the incumbent teachers want the ability to max out on their earning potential very early in their careers. In the real world, that normally happens late in your career.
LF parent October 16, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Yes...greedy, self--righteous, intitlement cupcake eaters. The LFHS teachers seem the consider their role as educators of our children the same as receiptents of the Federal welfare system; the harder the tax payers work, and the more the tax payers pay, the more they deserve. The Board most certainly should install a plan that allows for the termination of striking teachers and immediately replaces them with applicants from the multitude of equally qualified educators that would gladly, and gratefully, step into the cup cake line.

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