A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Education will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 7:00 p.m., in the Middle School lunchroom at 1850 W. Plainfield Road, La Grange, IL 60525. Please enter through door #33. The agenda for the meeting is available by going to Administration --> Board of Education --> Agendas
Today, our 5th Grade STEM and 7th Grade Science classes at Highlands Middle School classes welcomed Mr. Jeff Hoffman from Argonne National Laboratory. Thank you for discussing careers and the many wonders at Argonne during Computer Science Education Week! #106learns
The Middle School Show Choir took their music on the road to sing for Bridgeview Elementary School. The Show Choir students were able to engage over 400 students with their songs and audience participation. They were able to deliver over 50 coats that went directly to the students of the school. Way to go Show Choir!
NEGOTIATIONS TO RESUME FOLLOWING TEACHERS’ REJECTION OF TENTATIVE CONTRACT AGREEMENT
Since January, the LaGrange Highlands District 106 Board of Education has been working with the Highlands Association of Teachers (HAT), the union that represents our 82 teachers, to negotiate a fair multiyear contract that serves the best interests of all Highlands stakeholders – our students, teachers, and taxpayer community. When we last communicated with you on November 21, we believed we had reached a tentative agreement that the HAT and the Board would soon vote to approve.
Today, we were extremely shocked and disappointed to learn that the teachers recently voted to reject the tentative contract agreement negotiated by their union leaders and the Board. This is a highly unusual and unexpected circumstance. The parties will soon resume negotiations — again, with the assistance of an independent mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
The rejected offer supported our District’s ability to continue to deliver a high-quality education, while also fulfilling our commitment to compensate our teachers fairly, maintain a balanced budget and sustain our long-term economic viability.
Under the terms of the tentative agreement rejected by the Highlands teachers, every teacher in the District would have received a salary increase in each year of a proposed five-year contract, as follows:
- 2019-20: 5%
- 2020-21: 4%
- 2021-22: 3.25%
- 2022-23: 3.25%
- 2023-24: 3%
Because the raises listed above are percentage-based (i.e., every teacher receives the same percentage increase), every teacher in the District would have received a 20% salary increase over the rejected five-year contract.
These salary increases, along with any negotiated increases in extra-duty stipends for teachers who coach or supervise extracurricular activities, would have been paid retroactive to August 2019, which is when our previous contract expired.
All of the members of the Board are parents of Highlands students or alumni, and like you, we value and respect our teachers. We want our District to be a place where they can grow and thrive as professional educators at every stage of their career, and where they are all competitively compensated for their excellent work in educating our children. Yet, we are also committed to preserving the long-term financial health of our District and want to ensure that we are able to provide our teachers and students with the tools and resources they need to deliver the excellent education our community has come to expect and deserves. We are mindful, too, of the importance of keeping our classroom sizes small amid rising enrollment trends and ensuring that we can adequately plan for critical capital improvements to maintain our school buildings.
We are all eager to reach a contract agreement and return the District’s sole focus to providing a premier educational experience to our more than 920 students. Please encourage both the Board and the HAT to keep talking and working toward agreement. We will continue to provide timely updates on the status of negotiations via email and the District website.
As always, we thank you for your support of the Highlands, our students and teachers.