District 46 teachers, school officials to resume negotiations Thursday

January 16, 2013 6:56:39 PM PST
Classes were canceled Wednesday and Thursday for 4,000 students in community-consolidated school District 46 in the northwest suburbs.

The teachers union and officials from Community Consolidated School District 46 will resume negotiations Thursday.

"No teacher wants to do this. This is a very difficult situation. You know a lot of thought went into it. Like I said, this isn't just about this year. This is about multiple years. And you get to a point where you feel like you are the one doing everything you can and the other side is not meeting you in that effort," said Dave Comerford, Illinois Federation of Teachers, said.

As parents dropped off their kids at district-organized daycare, negotiations between the union that represents 330 teachers and the school district showed no signs of restarting. They broke down early Wednesday morning.

Lake County Federation of Teachers say they're willing to take a pay freeze this year and asked for a raise of less than 4-percent next year, a proposal they say a federal mediator offered both sides. But the district balked -- and the strike was called.

"Negotiations have been going on for months. So it is what it is, and we'll deal with it and hopefully they can come to terms pretty quickly here," Julie Caldwell, parent

School board president Ray Millington has said the district faces declining revenues from lower property values. Teachers have been working without a contract since last July. School board officials declined on camera interviews and referred questioners to their website, which said only for Wednesday, "the strike continues. There will be no school tomorrow, Thursday, January 17th, 2013."

"When the district was talking about the tax levy - they told the community that we don't need to adjust the tax levy. The fund balances are just fine and we can get along, things are ok. And then when they come to the teachers and negotiation they say we're broke we have no money and we need cuts and give backs from you. Well that kind of double talk obviously doesn't sit well with these teachers," Comerford said.

District 46 includes seven schools in Grayslake, Third Lake, Hainesville, Round Lake, Round Lake Park, Round Lake Beach, and Lake Villa. The school district posted alternative child care options and additional more information on its website www.d46.org/Index.html.