Oak Lawn Teachers Vote To Reduce Raises, Avoid Layoffs

OAK LAWN, Ill. (CBS) — Would you vote to cut a future pay raise in order to spare the jobs of fellow workers?

That was the choice facing teachers and other staffers on Tuesday at Oak Lawn Community High School.

As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, the vote wrapped up Tuesday afternoon when teachers voted to take smaller pay raises rather than face the prospect of major layoffs.

Oak Lawn School District 229 Supt. Michael Riordan said it was a cut-and-dried choice for teachers: vote for a smaller pay raise for the next few years or see about 20 percent of the school’s staff lose their jobs.

“The outcome was very positive. What I really like about it is that it really puts students first,” Riordan said. “The board and the union worked together to find an alternate solution instead of (laying off) 33 people and cutting programs for kids and the vote was very, very supportive.”

Teachers and staff voted 146-29 to take raises of 4% and 6% over the next two years, rather than raises of 7% and 9% that also would have required layoffs.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

Riordan said the vote will help keep the district’s financial health intact for the next five years.

Lower local tax revenues and the state budget mess had created a potential budget disaster for the district.

Teachers union representatives declined to comment on the vote Tuesday afternoon. But Riordan said school board members were ready to accept the outcome of the vote and move forward with no layoffs.

  • Nicole

    Their luck to get that. Chicago wouldn’t dream of giving its teachers a 7% raise for 1 year.

  • Bob Smith

    What a great response for teachers to put students and their fellow teachers futures first without hesitation. Hats off to all of you.. How unselfish. I am proud my son goes to OLCHS.

  • Ian

    I applaud the Oak Lawn teachers. You are looking out for your brothers and sisters while corporations, banks, and the like have done nothing of the sort. Teachers are the true patriots.

    Selfish capitalists your day is coming:

    So if you are the big tree
    We are the small axe
    Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
    To cut you down

    Support your innercity brothers and sisters who are going to be asked to give up their 4% raise completely…and still face staff cuts.

  • Jim

    10% raises in 2 years is not giving up anything!! Anyone I know, with normal jobs, would die to get 10%! I am shocked that 16% was even on the table. THIS is the reason why collective bargaining & unions NEED to go. Anyone with half a mind knows that this is unsustainable. Keep raising taxes is not the answer; fiscal responsibility is and is obviously not being followed (even though Wisconsin our neighbors are going through much needed reform). They should get what “normal” workers are getting; 0-2% average over the past 3 years, but unions run Illinois.

  • Ian

    Jim, that sounds great! Lets make the entire working class’ existence equally as bad. Crabs in a bucket…never mind looking at the rich folks making you act that way. Let them be, right? Fool.

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