Thursday, December 1, 2011
Hope for resolution before school breaks for holidays.
Lake Forest High School teachers are awaiting to view the final version of the one-year contract between the Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA) and School District 115 following recent subcommittee meetings to iron out the language. Chuck Gress, LFEA's media liaison and a math teacher at the high school, said Thursday that a tentative agreement was reached on the contract language done at a subcommittee level comprised of members from both sides. "We finalizing the actual document and then we make it available to the teachers to view for five days, then we schedule a date to vote on the contract," Gress explained. "We're hoping to have it done before the holidays," he added. After months of negotiations dating back to April, the …
Monday, November 21, 2011
If teachers approve the final wording of contract, work on next year's could start soon.
The Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA), representing Lake Forest High School teachers, and the District 115 Board of Education will likely be back at the bargaining table within the next few months if a one-year tentative agreement between the two sides is signed. After months of negotiations dating back to April, the Board of Education announced Friday that a tentative agreement had been reached. The teachers have been working without a contract since June 30. The agreement came after two marathon sessions last week following a notice of strike letter filed by the LFEA. The one-year agreement calls for a freeze in teacher salaries, and no change in health or retirement benefits. “We were hoping to get a two-year contract,” said …
Friday, November 18, 2011
Teachers union needs to ratify contract.
After meeting until 1 a.m. Friday morning, District 115 Board of Education and Lake Forest Education Association, which represents Lake Forest High School teachers, came to a tentative contract agreement. The teacher's union still needs to have its members ratify the contract before it becomes official, according to a statement released by the district and e-mailed to parents of students of the high school. Lake Forest High School teachers have been working without a contract since June 30 with the key sticking points being salaries, retirement and health benefits. Last week, the LFEA sent a notice of strike to the School Board, and the two sides subsequently met Tuesday and again Thursday. Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch will update this …
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Cite more progress from Tuesday's meeting than in previous ones.
Progress. That was the word coming out of Tuesday night's negotiations between the District 115 Board of Education and the Lake Forest Education Association representing teachers at Lake Forest High School. Both sides indicated more progress was made Tuesday than in previous meetings, which has spurred another scheduled meeting for 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 17). "We're advancing through the process," said School Board President Sharon Golan. "The fact that we are meeting again says that." The School Board sent out an e-mail to parents of Lake Forest High School students indicating another meeting date had been set. Mark Stein, Uniserve director with the Illinois Education Association, who is on the bargaining table with LFEA, said while he …
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Has strike plan in place to keep classes in session if necessary.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Two sides down to meet Tuesday, or will they?
Among the mail to be delivered Monday to Lake Forest School District 115 will be a notice of strike from the Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA), which is representing Lake Forest High School teachers in the current contract negotiations. The notice does not mean the teachers will strike, but it lays the groundwork in case they choose to. “I hope not,” said Mark Stein, UniServ director with the Illinois Education Association. Stein has sat on the teacher’s negotiating team since contract talks began in April. The earliest strike date would be Dec. 7, Stein said. However, the two sides are slated to meet again Nov. 15, though Stein said Friday that he hasn’t heard official confirmation from the federal mediator. Stein said the most …
Board can negotiate a fair and equitable settlement and still have significant fund reserves.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
The Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA), representing the faculty of Lake Forest High School, does not think a collective bargaining agreement, in this case between the LFEA and the District 115 Board of Education, should be negotiated through the media, but should be worked out by democratically elected representatives of each side at the bargaining table. But, the LFEA feels it must respond to recent Board and administrative assertions about the negotiations process that have been placed on the LFHS website and transmitted to the media. We assert that many of these claims are inaccurate and do not reflect the nature of the ongoing negotiations or the proposals each side has made. Board representatives have alleged that the LFEA is …
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Negotiations comes to a halt after each side refuses the other's proposed contract.
The Lake Forest Education Association representing Lake Forest High School teachers and the District 115 Board of Education are at an impasse after Monday's negotiation session. The two sides plan to meet again Nov. 15. Superintendent Dr. Harry Griffith said at Tuesday night's District 115 board meeting that the board's proposal looks to restore its reserves to healthier levels, while increasing teachers' pay by 10 percent over a four-year period. “If we had the reserve we have right now, two years ago,” Griffith said, “we would have been taking our class sizes to 30 (students per teacher). We would have been cutting many programs.” Negotiations started in April, and teachers have been working without a contract since it expired June 30. …
Friday, November 4, 2011
Golan says continuing to draw down District reserves is not an option.
Is the District 115 Board of Education at Lake Forest High School paying their teachers enough? Or are the teachers asking for too much, in light of the shaky economy? Thursday morning, after the teacher's union protested in front of the high school, Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch conducted an e-mail interview with District 115 Board of Education President Sharon Golan. Previously, Golan said the economic backdrop for the negotiations is different from when the last contract was negotiated in 2006. Here's what she had to say in the latest interview: When Chuck Gress, lead negotiator for the teacher's union, said teachers will be taking a pay cut, was he accurate, based on what the board is offering? Golan: We are unable to comment on the …
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Pay freeze, larger contribution into health insurance, decrease retirement benefits add up to overall decrease.
Lake Forest High School teachers believe they have been asked to take what adds up to a "pay cut" after the Lake Forest Education Association, representing the teacher's union, and the District 115 Board of Education entered into negotiations when the contract expired June 30. Lead negotiator Chuck Gress, a mathematics teacher for more than 20 years at the high school, claims the school board has asked teachers to accept a pay freeze, a decrease in its retirement benefits and pay more toward health insurance in the next contract. “When you add it all up,” he argued, “our compensation package would, literally, take a pay cut.” Gress spoke Thursday morning while more than 50 unionized Lake Forest High School teachers walked up and down in …