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Lake Forest High School teachers decide to strike

Updated: October 14, 2012 2:02PM

Lake Forest High School teachers decided to strike after walking out of contract negotiations late Tuesday night.

The district’s 1,718 students from Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Knollwood will have no classes Wednesday and there will be no sports practices or competitions until contract differences are resolved.

There are 150 teachers at the high school.

Lake Forest Education Association spokesman Chuck Gress said the union was “disappointed that the Board of Education did not respond to the LFEA’s last salary submission.”

The LFEA was prepared to negotiate a settlement but the school board “chose not to counter,” Gress said. He would not say what the union offered.

For its part, the board issued a statement just before midnight saying that “the union’s final proposal continued to request compensation increases of more than double the Consumer Price Index,” which they said is 1.5 percent for fiscal year 2013 and 2.7 percent for fiscal year 2014.

“The board is very disappointed,” the statement continued. “We feel that leaving negotiations until the final hour is unfair to our students, parents and community.”

The union did not attend a Monday evening negotiation session.

LFEA and school board negotiators went back to the bargaining table Tuesday night following the regular District 115 Board of Education meeting. It was the first negotiation session since Sept. 6.

A standing-room-only crowd of parents, student athletes and community members packed the District 115 Board of Education meeting. Several parents cited job losses, pay cuts and foreclosures that have hit residents of the district as reasons for their concern about pay increases the LFEA was requesting.

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