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Oak Lawn Teachers, School Workers Face Choice

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OAK LAWN (WBBM) — Teachers and other employees at Oak Lawn Community High School District 229 vote tomorrow on whether to accept smaller pay raises over the next two years or see nearly three dozen of them lose their jobs.

District 229 Supt. Michael Riordan says revenue projections are down for the next few years and that the school board didn’t want to “stick its head in the sand” and not deal with the problem. He says fewer dollars will be the result of lower property values and a negligible inflation rate.

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The Oak Lawn Community High School District’s 180 teachers, aides, janitors and others are scheduled to get 7 percent and 9 percent pay raises over the next two years.

The school district is asking the union to vote to accept lower raises of 4 percent and 6 percent respectively.

Supt. Michael Riordan says, “They’re going to get a pay raise, not as large as it would have been. They maintain all their other benefits. There wasn’t anything taken away as far as insurance or retirement benefits or anything like that.”

Riordan says that, if there have to be layoffs, 27 teachers and six other “educational support staff members” would get pink slips.

The vote will run from the beginning of the school day tomorrow until 4 p.m. Riordan says the school board will meet tomorrow night and will vote one way or another depending upon how the union vote goes during the day.

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