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Turner School District, teachers close to contract

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ANN MARIE AMES
January 10, 2008
— The Beloit Turner School District and its teachers have a tentative contract agreement. The two sides soon could ratify the 2007-08 and 2008-09 school year contracts.

This week, attorneys for both sides are nailing down language for the 403 (b) tax-free retirement benefit, district Administrator Dennis McCarthy said.


The board could go into closed session Monday to discuss the language.


The rest of the contract seems satisfactory for both sides, said union spokeswoman Shelly Crull-Henke.


-- Retirement benefits:


The union held a membership vote recently to see if bargaining was headed in the direction teachers wanted.


About 60 of the union's 90 members attended, Crull-Henke said. The majority said they liked the district's offer of an $11,000 stipend per year for four years for any teacher that retires at the end of this school year.


Teachers who retire by the end of next year would get $8,000 per year for four years.


The district also is offering an $8,500 per year stipend with no retirement deadline. The school board would be happy if the teachers chose either option, McCarthy said.


-- Salary:


The district is offering a 4.39 percent total package increase in the first year and a 4.2 percent increase the second contract year.


That translates into 1.99 percent straight salary increase this year and 1.43 percent next year. The teachers had been vying for a 2.2 straight increase each year.


"We feel there are good things for both sides," Crull-Henke said.



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