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LFHS Teachers Declare Impasse, Strike Possible

Union eschews strike and hopes to speed up negotiations though a work stoppage could occur as early as Sept. 10.

Impasse was declared today by the teachers in an effort to end their ongoing contract negotiations and arrive at an agreement with the , according to Lake Forest Education Association (LEEA) teachers’ union President Richard Moore.

Though the members of the LFEA want to start the school year with a new contract and without the pressure of ongoing talks, today’s move clears the way for a strike as early as Sept. 10. Representatives of both sides hold their next negotiation session August 23.

“I’m a teacher. I just want to teach,” Moore said. “I left the business world because I want to help raise the next generation.” He wants a contract sooner rather than later so the teachers can concentrate on educating “It has to be fair and equitable,” he added.

With impasse declared both the union and the Board must exchange their final offers by August 17 and their positions must be disclosed to the public by Sept. 24. After that, no further action can be taken before Sept. 7.

No strike can occur until 10 days after the LFEA declares a notice of intent to strike. It has not done that yet but can do so at any time meaning the teachers could be out of their classrooms Sept. 10.

According to Moore, the primary purpose behind declaring an impasse is to assure the public the positions of both the teachers and the Board will be before the public so the entire community understands the differences.

“We hope this will speed up the process and encourage everyone to come to the table,” Moore said. “We want a contract because it removes the pain and gives us stability. It also commits us to our (teaching) responsibilities without a painful process.”

Board Vice President Jim Carey agrees with Moore’s desire to accelerate the process. He too wants to see a reasonable agreement that is fiscally responsible.

“The Board of Education welcomes the opportunity to present its final and best offer by Friday August 17,” Carey said. “The Board will continue to work hard to achieve a settlement that balances its educational and financial commitments to the community with a salary schedule that is competitive with similar school districts.” 

. In the last 35 years, the LFEA has negotiated between seven and 10 contracts with the Board and all but one have not been inked without a declaration of impasse, according to Moore.

Late last year, the teachers declared an impasse and in less than two weeks they agreed to a one-year deal with the Board with a pay freeze. That agreement expired June 30.

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carolynhays August 11, 2012 at 07:22 AM
Thinking of taking classes online? Find an accredited degree program. Look for High Speed Universities and it will teach you how to find a suitable degree for you
Joe August 11, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Any wonder why many of us resent unions? This group asks for 6% increases when other school districts and many taxpayers are getting far less if any increases. Then they throw out the word strike to alarm the families. How disappointing.
caryllon huggins August 11, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Could someone write about what the rest of the comparable high schools on Northshore have as contracts so this is put in perspective?
Nancy J. Thorner August 11, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Are we to believe that LFHS teachers are poor indigent, downtrodden, living in old leaky tents teachers with no money, hitching rides to and from the schools, wearing rags from the garbage cans, nary a crumb to eat, not paid even minimum wage they say, besieged by nasty rich lakeside citizens who will not pay them a decent wage ... Sniff, Sniff. The Moore mentioned in the Patch story is Richard Moore whose base salary during 2011-2012 was $105,334. Not bad considering that he also receives full family health benefits!
against unions August 11, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Hey teachers spend less time worrying about how much money the other school districts are getting and more about keepIng your town above water. YOUR LUCKY YOU HAVE JOBS AND YOU WANT TO STRIKE FOR MORE MONEY IN THIS CLOSE TO A DEPRESSION ECONOMIC CRASH?? SHAME ON YOU ALL!!! FIRE THEM ALL
against unions August 11, 2012 at 11:51 PM
HERES A FEW FROM THE Teacher Salary Database Lake Forest CHSD 115 2011 - SALARY Abrams, Ryan $90,802 Alexander Collier, Cindy $93,208 Antrim, Wendy $132,483 Aronson, Steve$81,721 Barndt, Darren $103,829 Bassill, Robert $91,500 Benson, Rhonda$151,701 Berkshire, Jacqueline$125,969 Bielski, Carolyn$98,605 Birtman, Amy $104,321 Bower, Diane $120,567 Brandes, David$142,452 Brown, Denise $121,219 Burkhalter, Timothy $137,306 Chantler, Julie $113,140 Christofylakis, Elizabeth $88,433 Clark, Carol $101,263 Clark, Diane $151,530 Clegg, Laura $112,843 Clegg, Stephe$133,945 Coad, Daniel $130,594 Cooney, Tama$134,325 Davenport, Candice $110,663 De Rosa, Joseph $96,025 DeBartolo, Laura $82,809 Del Fava, Raymond $116,977 Donlon, William $124,643 Doucette, Melissa $105,762 Douglass, Stephen $101,430 Dukats, Mara $94,973 Dunn, Stephen $93,551 Eccleston, Jane$102,732 Ferges, Lance $111,065 Ferrari, Matthew $102,452 Filippo, Anthony $168,740 Finley, Christopher $109,777 Flangel, Laura $107,596 Freedman, Keith$128,428 Gantt, Lloyd $135,403 Gatta, Jennifer $78,243 Gibson, Laura $142,201 Gigiano, Thomas$104,785 Gilbert, Scott $118,609 Goldstein, Paul$84,295 Gress, Charles $149,852 Haskett, Timothy$130,099 Hawkins, David$127,865 Heroux, Kathryn$130,695 Hoak, Bradford$129,221 Hoffmann, Joseph $184,733 Horan, Sandra $122,846 Jensen, Elizabeth $127,347 Jerch, Janie $134,242 Johnson, Pamela $131,344 Johnson, Steven $143,36
propaganda August 12, 2012 at 02:08 AM
LOL! You printed the salary of the principle Joseph Hoffman $184,733. He is an administrator who isn't in the union. Funny how his salary is so high. Why are you not worried about that? In addition the salaries posted are not accurate. The teachers pay 9% of the posted salaries for pension so they don't get the amounts you posted. And with pension reform that will be increaseing to closer to 13%. Posting salaries means nothing unless you are willing to post the salaries of the teachers at New Trier, Stevenson, Highland Park, Deerfield, and the glenbrook schools. I encourage you to do that too so the public can see that the teachers at Lake Forest are not asking for more than the surrounding schools. And lastly, your propaganda that the teachers are asking for 6% raises a year is a joke. Teachers at the top of the pay scale (which is most of what you printed) do not get step increases. They will only recieve cost of living increases. Last year they got nothing and the board is asking them to take 1% or less a year. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE NEED UNIONS.
Interested August 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Feel free to look up teachers from any district in the state for at this database. http://www.familytaxpayers.org/salary.php What you do not see just by looking at the list is the number of years experience and degrees held. Also, this is a gross salary list. From this number 9-13% (depending on pension tier) is deducted for retirement, then depending on the health plan chosen, $2000-$8000 is deducted for the teacher's contribution. Also, what isn't shown here is if a teacher is coaching or sponsoring clubs. A teacher may be spending 20 hours a week extra coaching for 3 seasons of sports and at LFHS would be receiving anywhere from $6000-$10000 more in stipends per season. For example, a new football coach sees $6000 for the season for 12 weeks, 20 hours per week, or about $30/hour, a weak overtime rate. My two best friends, one a senior manager for Ernst and Young, the other a network storage architect, have the freedom to negotiate their compensation packages based on their worth to the company. Teachers do not. My friends made more right out of college than most of these teachers made after teaching for 25 years or longer. They will collect social security and a 401K that was matched by their company, and have car and meal allowances as well. If we truly want to compare teachers to the private sector, don't just look at salary and health. The highest paid are the most educated with the most experience and the most time spent at work.
Joe August 12, 2012 at 06:21 PM
If you chose to be a teacher, thank you. You could have gone to work in private industry, perhaps EY, but you made a choice to be an educator. That was your choice- no one forced you. If you now regret your career choice or wish you worked in another district make a change. Perhaps there are some very good opportunities in the other districts you cite. If so, you should do what is best for you. For what it is worth-employees at EY etc. do not have the protection of tenure after 4-5 years of work experience. They are employees at will and are paid based on performance. Are the LF teachers ready to give up tenure and accept merit pay? Private industry employees also work 11 months per year not 9.
outoftownbutnotoutofmymind August 12, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I think these comments are helpful when they include data or links to data, but not when they rail against one side or the other. Negotiations are at a delicate stage and spewing hate against one side or the other, without offering data, is not right. You know who you are, sniff, sniff.
LB August 12, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Our property values are directly linked to the quality of education at Lake Forest High School. If surrounding school districts pay their teachers more and treat them with greater respect, they will attract the highest caliber teachers. We pay taxes for education regardless of teacher salaries. I want my required tax money go to teacher salaries. It seems like a good investment. If we treat our teachers like they are worthless, they will leave. If our educational system deteriorates, so do our property values. People will choose to live in the New Trier, Highland Park, Stevenson school districts instead of LF so they can give their children the best education around.
Frank Strainis August 12, 2012 at 07:44 PM
to carollon huggins, go to LFHS.org, the high school web site. There the BOE did a letter dated 8/8/12. Does exactly what you asked, compare LFHS teachers with those in several districts around. Also did it for 3 years out. Good Analysis!!!!
Meritpay August 12, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Hey Joe you are right. Give the teachers merit pay. Look at how successful the students are at Lake Forest and how much their ACT scores have improved in the past 5 years. Not to mention the number passing AP exams after taking AP classes. If you look closely at that then the teachers should be making more than most of the schools the board is comparing them to.
Interested August 18, 2012 at 01:29 AM
http://gazebonews.com/2012/08/17/what-lake-forest-teachers-want-lfea-issues-statement/
Me August 19, 2012 at 01:55 PM
"Teachers at the top of the pay scale (which is most of what you printed) do not get step increases. They will only recieve cost of living increases. Last year they got nothing and the board is asking them to take 1% or less a year." - Propaganda Do you realize that in the private sector, there is no guarantee of even the cost of living increases that the highest wage earners receive? Last year my increase was nothing. Nil, zilch, nada, ZERO. This was tied to the economy. In addition, our insurance costs went up and my premiums went up significantly. You also have the audacity to complain that you are forced to contribute tou your pension. Guess what. I put in 16% of my salary and the company matches at a whopping 4% I would venture to guess that nearly everyone in the private sector would gladly swap their pension for your.
Ted August 19, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Hey Propaganda, First off, yes I agree, there is way too much administration and they are bloated and top heavy. However, they are not threatening to go on strike. Also, most people people in Lake Forest would love to pay 9% of salary to get a guaranteed pension approaching six figures. To buy an annuity that would pay that much starting at age 55 would cost a couple of million dollars. Quit your whining and get to work or go find a job elsewhere that will pay you 100K, offer free health care, and gives you a lavish pension for life. Oops, that other job is not out there! The high school would be much better off if all you bitter old, unrealistic crones just retired.
Par Golfer September 10, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Correct the salaries should be in line with others at FULL TIME JOBS - 76% of my real estate tax bill of 12K plus a year goes to schools. Plus I'm paying for their "pensions" Why aren't they paying 100% of the retirements? Why aren't they paying 50% or better for their health insurance? FIRE THEM ALL NOW! This is exactly why unions are disappearing. The education system is so over bloated with staffing it's crazy. I hope the national press plays this up big time - so they can see how the poor poor teachers who hardly work, have no fear of getting fired, only increases in salary each and every year no matter how bad they are square with working people who work 100% of the year, pay for 100% of their retirements and some times have to work without overtime pay just to keep up. Cry me a river - but take your union stuff out of here. Oh yeah, notice it's an election year? I wonder how many democrats are getting their phone calls from every union in the country - making sure they back the poor poor teachers making over 100K a year ( seems to be a lot of them ) and how much they should be "investing" or SHAKE DOWN so they support their re-election effort. God Bless Scott Walker. We need someone who can lead - not be dragged along like a democratic lap dog.

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