- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) - The Highland teachers union and school board were set to meet Thursday to hammer out a three-year contract agreement that could end an ongoing teacher strike.

Both parties said Wednesday they made significant progress in a negotiation session that went late into Tuesday night, the Belleville News-Democrat reported (https://bit.ly/1me2J7m ). Students will miss class for a sixth day Thursday because of the strike, which started on Sept. 11 after nearly six months of negotiations.

Thursday’s session will be the eighth time the two sides have met with a mediator since July.

The union proposed a three-year deal Tuesday that would cost the district about $730,000 total, a school board negotiator said. The district counter-offered with a three-year contract costing about $519,000. The union didn’t comment on details of its proposal.

Students are “one salary step” away from returning to the classroom, the union president said.

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, https://www.bnd.com

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