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Blue Ridge Federation, Board of Education Remain 'Far Apart' in Contract Negotiations According to Federation President

The Blue Ridge Federation and the Blue Ridge Board of Education remain far apart in their efforts to reach a new contract agreement after a meeting Tuesday evening between the two sides in front of a mediator. 


That is according to Federation President Don Anton, who says the two sides are "miles apart" and little progress was made Tuesday evening. Anton told Regional Radio News Wednesday afternoon the Federation is concerned about the turnover the district faces, noting connections are an integral part of the education environment and feels their students are losing out on those connections. 


Anton feels when positions open up, there is not a large number of applicants and wants to see a better salary and more stable healthcare plan to recruit not just teachers, but support staff as well. 

He points out the district has the highest possible rating by the Illinois State Board of Education and says the district is in strong financial shape. Additionally, he does not feel district leaders have prioritized salaries and notes they would not ask the district for something they could not afford. 


Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson in a statement Wednesday says quote - "The Blue Ridge Board of Education and Blue Ridge Federation of Teachers met with the federal mediator for the second time on Tuesday, September 24. This was the 10th session since negotiations began on Feb. 11. 


"The primary remaining issues are salary and health insurance. Last night, the union made movement on health insurance, but have not made any movement on salary demands since August 12. The Board has given the union 3 new proposals for salary in that time period. The Union has requested public posting of the current offers for each side." 


The offers will be posted on October 7 and will be distributed to the public at that time. 


Earlier this month, the Federation formed a strike exploratory committee. 

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