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Geneva teachers strike averted; Class held Monday

Monday, November 12, 2012

Geneva school teachers averted a strike after their union reached a tentative agreement with School District 304 officials.

Contract talks lasted into the early morning hours Monday in the western suburbs. They almost broke down over the weekend after the teachers union filed an unfair labor charge against the district, accusing 304 of intimidating teachers by threatening to take away benefits if they didn't work. The teachers had threatened to hit the picket lines Monday.

"I don't want to see it hurt the community. We have such a strong community. It was frustrating to hear the allegations going back and forth," Wendy Weitzel, parent, said. "I'm glad they were able to, hopefully, peacefully come to an agreement."

Pay was the central issue of negotiation. The teachers had agreed to take a pay freeze in the first year of the contract in exchange for a promise of raises in the following years.

The 3-year deal needs to be approved by both sides; votes are expected to take place mid-week.

"Missing school does not benefit anybody," Karen Allen, parent, said.

About 6,000 students are enrolled in Geneva School District 304.

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