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updated: 3/25/2013 10:28 AM

District 94, support staff reach deal

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Daily Herald report

The West Chicago High School District 94 school board and its support staff union have reached a tentative contract agreement, officials announced Monday, ending roughly 13 months of sometimes contentious negotiations.

District officials said the agreement came after the two sides spent 6 hours at the bargaining table Saturday. The Support Staff Association is expected to take a ratification vote Monday, April 1, and the board is scheduled to vote on it the following day.

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Negotiators say they will not comment on the proposed pact until both sides have approved it. The final agreement will be posted on the district website at www.d94.org.

Both sides had said they were cautiously optimistic entering Saturday's bargaining session and planned to focus on wages and health insurance, the two most significant sticking points in the talks.

The Support Staff Association represents administrative assistants, deans' assistants, personal care and program assistants, clerks, custodians and maintenance workers. Union members have been working without a contract since July 1, 2012. The union had declared an impasse in negotiations more than three weeks ago.

The school board had been proposing total salary increases of 7.25 percent over three years for the majority of union members, or 7.25 percent in total bonus money instead of raises for employees at the top of the wage scale. The union wanted equal raises for all its employees.

In the case of a sample program assistant making $30,000, the raises offered would amount to a $30,750 salary this school year, $31,596 next year and $32,227 in 2013-14, according to district figures.

The district serves 2,125 students.

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