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Board encouraged by Dixon teachers' new offer

Union modifies financials, some language, president says

Published: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – In a negotiation session that lasted almost 3 hours Thursday night, the teachers union gave a counter offer to the school board.

The new union proposal made modifications on “financials and some language,” Dixon Education Association President Sandi Sodergren-Baar said.

She did not want to get into specifics, until the Dixon School Board revised its offer.

She said the board promised the union “something back” on Monday, when the two sides meet again, just one day before teachers potentially can call a strike. Teachers have been working without a contract since August.

Superintendent Michael Juenger said board members will review the union’s offer.

“This is encouraging,” Juenger said. “It was good for us to meet [Thursday].”

Sodergren-Baar echoed Juenger’s sentiment, although “I was a little disappointed the board didn’t have something,” she said. “We gave them our next counter-proposal in order to keep bargaining in good faith.”

In its previous offer, the union is proposing more staff and 4 percent more than their previous year’s salary, while the school board is asking teachers to take at least a 2-year pay freeze and pay more in health insurance.

Both offers are posted at www2.illinois.gov/elrb/Pages/default.aspx, the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board website.

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