Progress reported in Waukegan teachers strike
The two sides in the Waukegan Unit District 60 teachers strike released a statement Friday indicating progress is being made toward ending the labor dispute that has reached seven days.
In the joint statement released Friday evening, representatives from the Lake County Federation of Teachers and Waukegan Unit District 60 said negotiators worked diligently in an all-day meeting and reached tentative agreements on several significant issues. No details were provided.
The teams will reconvene on Sunday for another session with a federal mediator, and both sides are hopeful to reach a full resolution during that session, according to the statement.
Roughly 1,200 employees walked off the job at District 60 on Oct. 2 in a dispute that centered on salaries and medical benefits. Friday marked the seventh day that 17,200 students missed school.
With the Columbus Day holiday on Monday, the earliest they could return to class is Tuesday.
Average teacher pay in the Waukegan district is $55,642, officials said. Salaries range from $36,853 to $100,522.
Instructors have asked for a three-year contract with 9 percent raises the first year and 7 percent increases in each of the next two years. The district offered a 2-year deal with 1.63 percent and 1.5 percent raises.
Waukegan's teachers strike has extended longer than some others in the past three years in Lake County.
Grayslake Elementary District 46 teachers were on strike for three academic days before reaching agreement on a new contract. The instructors walked off the job in January 2013.
In January 2012, Zion-Benton Township High School District 126 instructors were off the job for four days before receiving a new deal.
Lake Forest High School District 115 teachers went on strike for five days in September 2011. Teachers from North Shore Elementary District 112 in the Highland Park area were on strike for one day in October 2011.