We would like to once again update you on the status of the teachers' contract negotiations. On July 19, the Board and the Teachers' Union met with a Federal mediator for the second time for approximately three hours.
The Union's latest proposal is for a three-year contract with an average annual increase in compensation (salary and benefits) of 6.7 percent. The Board of Education's proposal includes a competitive average annual increase in compensation of 3.6 percent.
It is important to note that the teachers received no increase in compensation for the last school year. That freeze, however, followed a five-year period over which the average teacher salary increase was 5.5% annually, elevating our teachers' salary schedule to one of the highest in the state. The Board's current offer continues to keep our teachers' compensation among the highest in the state.
The Board of Education is seeking minimal contributions from teachers enrolled in the HMO family plan. The district currently pays 100%. Also, in response to the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act, the Board will be transitioning away from offering health care plans to new hires that would result in hefty taxes to the district.
The Board of Education will continue to work hard to achieve a settlement that balances its educational and financial commitments to the community with a salary schedule that is competitive with similar school districts. We are cognizant of our collective bargaining duties under Illinois law, and the Board will continue to listen to and evaluate the Union's proposals in order to facilitate an agreement that meets the needs of the school community.
The Board has been, and remains, open to meeting with the Union as needed to achieve a mutually acceptable contract. We will continue to keep you informed about this important process.
Lake Forest Community High School District 115
Board of Education