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Article updated: 10/10/2012 10:18 PM

Union says strike vote possible at Grayslake District 46 next week

By Bob Susnjara

Lake County Federation of Teachers President Michael McGue says stalled contract talks at Grayslake Elementary District 46 may lead to union members taking a strike vote next week.

McGue announced Wednesday that District 46 officials have declared negotiations for a new teachers contract are at an impasse and the last, best offer has been made.

"It was somewhat surprising," McGue said of the impasse that followed a Tuesday bargaining session.

Roughly 300 teachers at District 46 will be given details about the contract offer during a closed union membership meeting Monday, said McGue. He said the instructors' feedback about the latest contract offer will determine whether they take a strike vote Tuesday.

If the teachers vote to strike, notice would be served to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. After giving the notice, the instructors would have to wait 10 calendar days to strike.

District 46 board President Ray Millington said he was not familiar with the contract negotiation impasse. Superintendent Ellen Correll couldn't be reached Wednesday night.

While District 46 teachers voted in favor of striking in 2008, they never walked out and agreed to a three-year contract. But the teachers union reworked the final year of the deal for the 2010-11 academic year by taking 2.75 percent base raises -- instead of an originally scheduled 4 percent -- to help the district bridge what at the time had been a $2.3 million budget gap.

In exchange for accepting the 2.75 percent pay hike for 2010-11, the teachers received a contract extension to 2011-12 that included raises of about 4 percent. The contract expired June 30, 2012.

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