Litchfield, Ill (KSDK) -- Litchfield, Illinois teachers filed their intent to strike notice.
Their contract expired on August 15.
The Litchfield Education Association said the district proposed teachers not receive their longevity increase or increment for additional education achievement this year.
The union is proposing a three-percent increase in the salary schedule with longevity and educational step. The union said it's proposal is an overall increase of $66,000 over last year's contract.
Litchfield teachers began informational picketing before school this week.
Parents and community members who want more information can visit a website the union set up.
A US Federal Commissioner scheduled a mediation session in Litchfield for December 13.
On Thursday Chad D. Allison, Superintendent of Litchfield CUSD No. 12 released the following statement:
"It is truly unfortunate that the Litchfield Education Association places such little value on its members and the teachers of our district. To state that their proposal of step PLUS 3% will only cost the district $66,000 can best be described as erroneous and unacceptable. During the 2011-2012 school year, the Litchfield Education Association had 88 teachers it represented. Due to the financial crisis that is facing the district, as well as many other across the state, the Board of Education was forced to eliminate 4.5 teaching positions for the 2012-2013 school year. As a district, we valued each and every one of these educators and appreciated what they did for our students. While the INCREASED cost in teacher salaries from last year to this year is $64,476, that amount now only pays 83 teachers.
"As a district, we are truly saddened by the fact that the LEA finds it acceptable to say that, "This is a modest proposal and one that is well within the district's ability to pay." The actual cost of the raise for the 78 returning LEA members is $253,286. The only reason it is an additional cost of $64,476 is because the district eliminated 5 teachers to do so. It is unfortunate the union doesn't value its members and our students more than that. Why are they not demanding that the district bring back these educators if we truly have the ability to pay?
"The LEA's proposal would result in the teacher raises for the 2012-2103 school year ranging from $1,845 to $3,503 for each teacher. With the required salary step increase, the total raises would range from 3.0% to 7.12% per teacher. "