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Pay stances changed, not enough for new pact in District 46

Grayslake School District 46 teachers Amy Forrest (left) MettawStacey Hodits (right) Gurnee wave motorists as they walk picket line along

Grayslake School District 46 teachers Amy Forrest (left) of Mettawa and Stacey Hodits (right) of Gurnee wave to motorists as they walk the picket line along Route 83 in front of Grayslake Middle School. | Thomas Delany Jr.~ Sun-Times Media

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Town hall session called

A town hall meeting to discuss the ongoing District 46 teachers’ strike will be held Saturday, Jan. 19, from 2 to 5 p.m., at State Bank of the Lakes, 50 Commerce Drive, Grayslake. Both the district and the union have been asked to send a representative to take questions from the public, said organizer Lennie Jarratt of Round Lake Beach from the group For Our Children’s Future.

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Updated: February 19, 2013 2:58PM

The Grayslake District 46 teachers’ strike dragged into day three Friday after a mediation session Thursday failed to produce an agreement.

School Board President Ray Millington said both sides modified their positions on pay.

“But it turns out it wasn’t enough to come to an agreement,” he said.

The union and school board will meet again for mediation at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at Park School in Round Lake. It will be the third such session since Tuesday.

Jim Pergander, representative for the Lake County Federation of Teachers, said discussions at the table Thursday revolved around salary schedules, including step increases and lane movement, the latter which refers to salary bumps based on the completion of graduate coursework or degrees.

Neither side offered new proposals, but rather “supposals,” Pergander said.

“Both sides threw hooks in the water,” he said. “Neither side bit.”

Meanwhile, the Board of Education used the district Web site to clarify what it called misinformation, claiming the union has not agreed to a salary freeze for the first year of a proposed two-year contract, as has been previously reported.

“The union has made it clear in the proposals it made public, that it will not accept a proposed soft salary freeze in the first year of the contract without adding significant costs to the second year,” the board statement reads.

The union has proposed a 4.68 percent increase for the second year.

The board is also pushing back on a claim by the union that it can afford modest salary increases for teachers because it will have estimated $26 million in fund reserves from property tax receipts. Such balances, according to the statement, “are not akin to a savings account or “a rainy day fund,”

Pergander said he’s optimistic that a settlement will be reached.

“I’m a lifelong Cubs fan,” Pergander said. “Ask me if I’m hopeful, the answer is always going to be ‘Yes.”

Meanwhile, picketing is set to begin by 9 a.m. Friday outside three of the 4,000-student district’s seven schools: Grayslake Middle School on Barron Boulevard; Avon Elementary on Route 83 in Round Lake Beach and Prairieview on Route 120 in Hainesville.

The union’s 325 certified members have been working without a contract since July 1.

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