LFHS Teachers Remain Without a Contract

Latest mediation fails to produce an accord. No future date set for talks but sides remain hopeful with school opening in just over a month.

With the opening of school August 27, the teachers remain without a contract with both the educators and the administration claiming issues of compensation and benefits remain to be resolved.

The District 115 Board of Education and the Lake Forest Educators Association (LFEA) did not reach an agreement Thursday when they met with a mediator in an attempt to resolve their differences, according to both Board President and LFEA spokesperson .

“The mediation session did not produce an agreement and we do not have a date yet for another,” Golan said. The dispute has been going on a year. The parties could not agree on a long term contract last year and settled for a one-year pact.

“We presented a multiyear deal but the union chose a one-year contract,” Golan said. The parties agreed to a wage freeze at that time as well as a freeze in steps, according to Gress. His group wants to do something about the steps in the contract which reward a teacher for years of service.

“It has a huge, huge impact,” Gress said of the steps. “The trickle down calculations can effect increases for years.” He is hopeful the current mediation will produce a deal. “We’re starting over with a new team. New faces have a fresh look.”

Though the union membership voted 104-3 to authorize their leaders to declare a strike, no work stoppage can occur until at least 28 days after the declaration of an impasse by the teachers, according to Illinois Education Association staff member Mark Stein. No impasse has been declared.

Both the Board and the union remain committed to the students and greater Lake Forest community. In a letter to the community, the Board acknowledged the educators effect on the city.

“The contributions of our professional staff to the quality of educati0n of our students are substantial,” the letter said. “The contract that recently expired acknowledged the teachers’ continuing commitment to our students in the light of the financial constraints of the Board.”

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Gary July 23, 2012 at 04:49 PM
What are the unions demanding? Are we legally allowed to know what they are asking for?
Steve Sadin (Editor) July 23, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Gary, thanks for your comment. We do not have a legal right to know what the two sides are demanding from each other.
cali475 July 23, 2012 at 09:28 PM
someone pull out the worlds smallest violen. This is a joke.
cali475 July 23, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Steve, what happened to Jim Powers?
Me July 23, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Aren't these teachers already some of the highest paid in the state if not in the country? Don't get me wrong, the teachers are not the enemy here but they do need to be reasonable. For me, the real enemy is the administration. The amount that is spent on the superintendent and his army of assistants is obscene.
Gary July 23, 2012 at 11:21 PM
That's what I thought. So, our school board can't find a way to placate the union, the situation is degenerating, the teachers voted 104-3 to authorize a strike... and we don't have a right to know what the issues are or what they are demanding. Unbelievable. This is our town, our taxes, our school, and our children... and we have no right to know what is being asked of us. We are kept out of the process by law. What kind of negotiation is that? Am I the only one who has a big problem with this?
Steve Sadin (Editor) July 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Thanks for asking. Jim is relocating. You can read his farewell here (http://patch.com/A-wlfY).
Laura July 29, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Let them walk, let them leave. In an economic time when the citizens of the community are struggling financially, and most have to either pay into their healthcare of pay it completely, the teachers are being unreasonable. They are some of the most well paid teachers in the STATE. If it isn't good enough here, go somewhere else. I have little sympathy for the teachers, who have more days off than anyone I know. Do they really think that they are the only ones who take their work home when the day is done? Sorry. Go strike. I'll cross the picket line and teach the kids. I'll even be NICE to them. Which is more than can be said for many in the building.


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