Grayslake District 46 Teachers Decide to Strike

After no agreement between the teachers union and the board, both the elementary and middle school teachers will take to the picket lines.

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McKenna Kalisz

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District 46 teachers and supporters walk the picket line on Novermber 7th.

District 46 teachers and supporters walk the picket line on Novermber 7th.

Starting on Thursday November 7, Grayslake District 46 decided to go on strike. The union’s decision to strike came after a negotiation meeting on Tuesday night with the Board of Education. The goal of the meeting was to reach an agreement between the two parties. The boards negotiation significantly increased from what they had offered before. Ultimately, the union didn’t counter and informed them of their decision to strike on Thursday.

Leah Brown, president of Grayslake Federation of Paraprofessionals and support staff, spoke on a reason for their strike.

“Employees want a fair wage so they can afford to live where they work. Some earn less than $15 an hour,” Brown said. “We don’t work in public education to get rich.”

The issue of pay is currently the only issue dividing the two sides. With teachers and support workers two years into their four year contract, it is coming to the time where the unions agree to determine the amount of pay raises for their contracts. The decision to strike was made due to uncertainty of the district’s financial future.

“So when they see administrators getting raises, they see things happening in the building, and that we’re adding resources but nothing gets taken off the plates of teachers,” English teacher and building union president Jamie D’Andrea said. “That is usually when districts of poor unions tend to go on strikes.”

District 46 also walked out in 2013, lasting for three days. The district starts additional negotiations starting tonight.

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