Negotiations between Geneva school district, teachers continue into the night

GENEVA, Ill. — Negotiations are going late into the night Sunday as striking teachers and school district officials in Geneva try to reach a deal and get kids back in the classroom.

Nearly 6,000 students have been out of school since the teachers went on strike Tuesday. As the strike continued over the weekend, sporting events and activities were cancelled. Final exams have been pushed back to January after the holiday break.

Negotiations started at 3 p.m. Sunday in the district's headquarters, where a federal mediator was brought in to try and facilitate an agreement. Negotiations often continue late into the night.

Teachers in the district have been without a contract since August. They marched Sunday afternoon from Geneva High School to a rally outside the district headquarters.

The union's latest offer would use the salary model presented by the district's bargaining team for the first two years, and the schedule proposed by the union for the last two. The union also wants the district to increase the percentage of health insurance premiums it pays for dependent coverage, and pay for summer school teaching increased to $45 an hour.

The board has not publicized its latest offer, but released a statement Saturday calling its proposal a compromise, saying it provides higher salaries for more experienced teachers and maintains higher starting salaries for beginning teachers.

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