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Local

Teachers union says it tried to negotiate

More informational pickets in the works

DIXON – While the Dixon Education Association was blamed for teachers’ contract talks stalling over the summer, the union’s head negotiator Dolph Ricks said the Dixon School Board has to share some of that responsibility.

Teachers have been working without a contract since Aug. 20, despite talks that started in March.

“Back in early March, the Dixon Education Association offered to negotiate with the school board Thursdays, Fridays and all day Saturdays, and each meeting would be a 3-day bargaining session,” Ricks, also a teacher at Reagan Middle School, said Tuesday. “They didn’t want to do that.”

Superintendent Michael Juenger said last week that the teachers were not willing to bargain over the summer, causing negotiations to stall in July and August.

Ricks said the teachers union also offered to negotiate without Illinois Education Association representation to schedule those 3-day meetings, if the school board met without its Chicago lawyers.

“They told us they would not meet without their lawyers,” Ricks said.

Thursday, teachers gathered for an informational picket on the Galena Avenue bridge. Ricks said more informational pickets could take place as talks continue.

More talks are scheduled for Monday, and for Jan. 29 and Feb. 4.

Also, Juenger corrected a statement he made last week about the union and board not meeting in June. Both parties did meet twice in June for negotiations, he said

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