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Geneva Teachers, School Board Reach Tentative Agreement Amid Strike

Teachers in far west suburban Geneva reached a tentative agreement with the District 304 Board of Education early Monday, moving one step closer to the end of a several-day strike.

The deal was reached after more than 12 hours at the bargaining table, the Geneva Education Association said in a statement announcing the union's support for the tentative agreement.

"We are bringing the TA to the full GEA membership for a vote," GEA President Kevin Gannon said in a statement.

"Progress was made because we remained committed to collaboration, compromise and doing what’s best for our students," Gannon continued. "We’d like to thank the community for their continued support. We believe it was that push from the community that brought us across the finish line."

Teachers had been on strike since Tuesday, announcing their walkout in the middle of the night after contract negotiations stalled.

The strike impacted more than 5,000 students at nine schools in the district. The main sticking point was salary for the nearly 500 teachers, who have been without a contract since August.

Educators said they are paid far less than colleagues in neighboring districts and can barely make ends meet.

Specifics of the tentative agreement were not released early Monday. Previously, the union had rejected a proposal from the school board that included a "$5.3 million, or a 17% increase, in new money for teacher compensation over the life of the proposed four-year contract," the district's website said.

The GEA claimed that proposal was rejected because it gave a bigger raise to newer teachers and a smaller increase to the more experienced ones at the top of the pay scale.

School remained canceled for Monday and it was not clear when classes would resume. The GEA was slated to vote on the tentative agreement Monday afternoon.

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