School district and teachers union reach deal

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FARMER CITY, Ill. (WCIA) — The Blue Ridge School District and teachers union reached a deal shortly before 1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Board president Dale Schneman and union leader Don Anton declined to divulge the details of the deal until it is ratified, but Schneman said described it as a three-year agreement with “very, very good compensations.”

“I know that Don has stressed – and we as a board have always wanted to show – the support for our staff, the paraprofessionals, teachers and so forth that they do mean a lot to our district and our students,” Schneman said. “It was our goal to make sure that they do make our salary schedule something that would be very competitive in our area.”

Anton said both sides were committed to getting the job done Monday night, in order to avoid the strike date on October 28th.

“I think we knew we could get a good deal tonight,” Anton said. “There were consequences for waiting until Sunday that would put stress on everyone; parents trying to find daycare, teachers trying to figure out what they’re going to be doing, bus drivers and cooks and all those folks who have just been on pins and needles.”

The Blue Ridge Federation of Teachers represents 110 district employees, including custodians, teachers, nurses and bus drivers.

Schneman said the next step for both sides will be to ratify the deal he and Anton signed Monday night. The union is set to vote on Sunday on whether to ratify the deal. The school board will then hold a special meeting for ratification as well, although the date for that meeting has not been set yet.

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