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D-46, teachers make 'signficant progress'

CRYSTAL LAKE – An agreement appears to be imminent between Prairie Grove School District 46 and its teachers after nearly two years of contract negotiations.

The Prairie Grove Teachers’ Association made “significant progress” in negotiations Monday, the teachers union said late Monday afternoon.

After meeting with district negotiators for nine hours, the union’s bargaining team said in an email to the Northwest Herald that the group is “optimistic that a settlement is at hand” and
that it plans to meet again Monday.

The school board’s team said it agreed with the union’s assessment of the latest, closed-door negotiating session.

“The board and the teacher teams have had another productive meeting today,” the district said on its website. “School will continue to operate as scheduled.”

District 46, at 3225 Route 176 in Crystal Lake, serves about 1,000 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The union previously filed a required 10-day “intent-to-strike” notice with the district, but set no strike date. Teachers are operating under terms of their expired contract.

Both side declined to release the details of Monday’s negotiations.

But the teachers’ association said the current proposals are “sustainable for the long term and would not negatively impact the district’s financial status, and would not result in an increase in taxes.”

After a Sept. 6 meeting, the parties reportedly were divided over issues of salary, extra-duty stipends, health insurance and the district’s decision to eliminate post-retirement payments, including insurance reimbursements.

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