By Bob Skolnik
Teachers at Lyons Township High School voted to approve a new contract last month, and the deal could be official later in January when the school board is expected to vote on it.
Faculty had been working without a contract since the school year began in August. The LTHS District 204 Board of Education is expected to consider the contract, whose details were not immediately available, at their next meeting on Jan. 22.
Until then no one wants to say anything about what's in the new deal.
"We agreed not to negotiate this stuff and talk about it in the public until it's approved," said LTHS Superintendent Tim Kilrea last week. Kilrea added that he was also speaking on behalf of District 204 school board President Tom Cushing.
Joseph Maffey, the president of the Lyons Township Education Association, which is the LTHS teachers' union, said in an email that teachers voted to ratify the proposed contract on Dec. 21. He declined to comment on how strong support was among teachers for the contract.
The proposed contract agreement was reached at a negotiating session held on Dec. 12, 2018.
A change in state law where pay raises of more than 3 percent trigger additional contributions to the Teacher Retirement System apparently was one of the factors that led to protracted negotiations.
In November, many teachers showed up at a school board meeting in an attempt to show solidarity and put pressure on the board to come to an agreement.
This story has been updated to include comment from Joseph Maffey, president of the LTHS teachers' union.