Grayslake District 46 board approves raises for teachers, support staff

Weeks after a labor strike shut down Grayslake Elementary District 46 for one day, the school board has approved pay raises for teachers and support personnel.

The affected employees will receive 4% salary increases for this school year and 3.6% increases for the 2020-21 year, according to a statement posted to the district's Facebook page.

All teachers and support staffers will receive the same raises, regardless of time employed by the district.

Additionally, teachers and support staffers will be paid more for supplemental duties, summer school and internal substituting than in the past, the statement read. Tuition reimbursements for college courses increased, too.

School board members unanimously approved the deal Wednesday night. The labor unions for the employees ratified the pact last week.

More than 300 teachers and about 180 support workers went on strike Nov. 7. The labor dispute was resolved with a tentative agreement reached during a negotiating session that night.

Pay was the only issue dividing the school board from the employees, who are represented by the Grayslake Federation of Teachers and the Grayslake Federation of Paraprofessionals and School Related Personnel.

Teachers and support workers are two years into four-year contracts that expire in summer 2021. The board and unions agreed to hold off on determining the amount of pay raises for the contracts' final two years because the district's financial future was uncertain at the time, according to documents filed with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.

Matthew LaPierre, a staff representative for Lake County Federation of Teachers Local 504, said he and union members are glad an agreement was reached for the final two years of the contract.

"One year from now we'll be back at the bargaining table negotiating the entire contract. Let's hope for a more peaceful process," LaPierre said.

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