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Grayslake teachers OK two-year contract

Grayslake School District 46 teachers shown here front  Frederick School went three-day strike thidled district’s 4000 students from Jan.

Grayslake School District 46 teachers, shown here in front of Frederick School, went on three-day strike that idled the district’s 4,000 students from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18. | Sun-Times Media file

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Updated: April 1, 2013 2:06AM

GRAYSLAKE — Teachers in Community Consolidated School District 46 voted Wednesday to ratify a two-year contract negotiated with the district’s school board last week.

The tentative agreement, reached just after a marathon mediation session that spanned the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, suspended a three-day strike that idled the district’s 4,000 students from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18.

Jim Pergander, representative of the Lake County Federation of Teachers, which represents the elementary district’s 325 certified personnel, said details of the new pact won’t be revealed until after board approval, which will likely come in the next board meeting on Feb. 6. But he hinted that a compromise on pay was reached.

Teachers took to picket lines during frigid weather after the two sides failed to reach agreement despite a year of bargaining and multiple sessions of federal mediation. The sticking point was pay, with the board offering a $1,000 stipend, amounting to a 1.75 percent raise in the second year of the contract while the union pushed for a 4.68 percent raise in the second year.

Pergander said the unofficial vote tally was 247 to 60.

“That’s about a four-to-one margin,” Pergander said.

“Generally, when teacher contracts are voted on, typical margins are greater than that. There are obviously people who are dissatisfied.”

After tentative agreement was reached and the strike was called off the district put a statement from School Board President Ray Millington on it’s Web site:

“This tentative agreement is indicative of our shared dedication and commitment to working together to meet the needs of all members of the District 46 community — teachers, students, families and taxpayers,” he said.

The District 46 strike was the fourth walkout by teachers in Lake County since 2012.

Zion-Benton Township High, also a LCFT union school, struck for four days a year ago.

Teachers represented by the Illinois Education Association walked out in two districts last year. Lake Forest High School District 115 struck for a week in September and North Shore elementary District 112 in Highland Park/Highwood held a one-day strike in October.

In Grayslake, students at nine schools returned to classes on Jan. 22.

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