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updated: 9/8/2011 5:25 PM

Cary teachers union, board still ironing out differences

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A tentative agreement between the Cary Elementary District 26 school board and the teachers union remains just that after two sides failed to come out of a follow-up negotiation session with a firm pact.

The two sides met for more than four hours Wednesday night to discuss a tentative agreement reached a week ago. The parties will meet again on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Annette Bear, a union member, said both sides worked late into the evening but were unable to completely accomplish their mutual goals.

"It's more about the language and trying to nail down certain details," Bear said Thursday. "It comes down to the nitty-gritty of words and turns into pragmatics. People are trying to make sure all of the i's are dotted and t's are crossed."

Neither side would release details about the tentative agreement, saying the information will be released once the contract is ratified.

"We are not sharing the details at this point, but there was significant progress made last night on the outstanding items, with a few items remaining," District 26 Superintendent Brian Coleman said in an email. "We will discuss these at our Sept. 21 meeting."

Teachers have been working under the district's last-best offer, which it imposed a week before school started in August. Those conditions include a salary rollback to 2008-2009 levels, a longer school day and shorter preparation times.

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