Contract Talks

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The Rockford School District and the teachers union continue to negotiate for a contract before the start of the 2002, 2003 school year.

The union contract expired on June 30. A federal mediator is now being brought in to continue negotiations.

A federal mediator will be the next step to secure a contract between the Rockford School District and its 2000 teachers.

Chief union negotiator Tom Morgan says teachers have been working under the same contract for the past four years, and in the past year have met with the districts bargaining board 10 times, making no apparent progress.

The new multi-year contract teachers are trying to secure includes more than a one percent pay raise and extended benefits.

It would be similar to districts like Harlem and Belvidere, who serve as the benchmark for the area.

But according to the teachers union, the Rockford school district is far from matching those numbers.

Rockford School District Superintendent Dr. Alan Brown says bringing in a federal mediator represents a critical time in the bargaining process.

Both sides are scheduled to meet with the federal mediator on Aug. 13 and 14.

However the teachers union and district will come together once more on Aug. 8 without a mediator to take a last shot at securing a contract without outside assistance.