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Unit Five Tentative Teacher Contract Reached

Unit Five Schools

After contract negotiations stretching over seven months, Unit Five teachers and the District administration have apparently reached agreement on a new labor agreement.

The final negotiating session lasted more than seven hours stretched into the early morning hours according to the UFEA web site.

The pact followed a solidarity demonstration last week by teachers.

Union head Karl Goeke said the negotiations were long, but not particularly divisive.

"I'd say respectful is a pretty good way to put it. While we represent the interests of different groups, we realize that we are stronger when we are united and we are stronger when we look for places we can agree," said Goeke.

Among the issues keeping the two sides at the table were pay, insurance, class sizes, and student testing frequency.

"While it did take quite a bit of time, our goal was to bring back a fair contract and we feel we have done that," said Goeke.

The union will finalize details, brief members, and set a date to vote on the pact.

The school district said UFEA represents 919 teachers and other certified staff in Unit 5.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.