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Article updated: 8/14/2012 6:29 PM

Huntley Unit District 158, teachers union request mediation

By Larissa Chinwah

Negotiating teams for Huntley Unit District 158 and its teachers union have requested a mediator to assist in ongoing contract talks, a news release from the district said.

The district and union, the Huntley Education Association, decided at the last negotiation session on Aug. 9 to bring in a third party to help establish a successor agreement to the one-year contract the sides approved last fall. The two sides have been working on a new deal since the spring. Teachers are expected to begin the new school year on Aug. 22 without a new contract, the release states.

Huntley Education Association co-president Julie McLaughlin said no sessions with the mediator have been set.

"We definitely want to work something out together, we just need a little help," McLaughlin said. "Teachers of 158 are looking forward to meeting students on Aug. 22 and we look forward to educating them all."

McLaughlin would not provide details of the ongoing contract talks. School board Vice President Donald Drzal could not be reached immediately for comment. Board President Michael Skala recused himself from negotiations as his wife is a teacher in the district.

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