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District, teachers continue 'very positive' contract talks

Morris Area School District officials and members of the Morris Teachers Association have engaged in contract talks that have been "very positive so far," said a union negotiator.

Deb Swezey said the two sides still have a way to go to close gaps on some issues. The MTA agreed at at Nov. 30 negotiating session to drop its pay raise request to 2 percent for each of the two years of the proposed contract.

The Sun Tribune last week incorrectly reported that the MTA had been seeking 4.5 percent pay hikes in each of the two years. The MTA was seeking a total increase of 4.5 percent over the two years of the contract, and has since reduced that request to 4 percent over two years, Swezey said.

The school board representatives and MTA negotiators are expected to meet for a seventh time on Dec. 9. By law, districts and teachers must have contracts settled by Jan. 15, 2010 or risk losing aid.