Lake Forest D115 teachers threaten to walk Wednesday - FOX 32 News Chicago

Lake Forest D115 teachers threaten to walk Wednesday

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago's not the only area school district facing labor troubles.

Teachers in north suburban Lake Forest District 115 are threatening to go on strike at 12:01 Wednesday morning if a contract agreement is not reached.

If the 148 Lake Forest High School teachers go on strike, this would be the first in the schools history. Concerned students attended the school board meeting.

"I'm pretty concerned because I feel like not a lot of the students know what's going on," said student Lucy Lincoln.

The two sides are at odds over salary, insurance and pay scales for new teachers.

The school board is offering an average of more than a 3% pay raise over the next three years. The teachers want double that. 

"I think teachers have it great and they may look at me and smile but the private sector does not make as much as public sector in this country," said parent Brad kunde.

During the meeting, school officials underscored that the salaries of Lake Forest teachers are reportedly some the highest in the nation and among the top 2% of the state, with some tenured teachers making 6 figure salaries. 

"I'm paid a fair wage, yes, I am," said union spokesman Chuck Gress. When asked his main complaint, he responded, "I am vested in the school because I feel very passionately about the quality of education."

The teachers union called the Lake Forest education association is also fighting for higher starting pay for new teachers and teachers do not want to pay more into their health insurance.

"Last year, we took a hard freeze, which means that our teachers took no raise," Chuck explained.

If no deal is reached by midnight Wednesday, the teachers will walk out.

Teachers at Lake Forest can make up to $127,000 but they want a substantial pay raise after the freeze last year, better pay for oncoming teachers, and no cuts to benefits.

The deadline is looming with 1,700 Lake Forest students hanging in the balance.

Meanwhile, Evanston/Skokie District 65 has approved a new 4-year contract for its teachers.

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