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Niles teachers finally agree with board on contract

NILES, MICHIGAN, -- Well, they finally did it!  After 18 months of negotiating, the Niles School Board finally reached an agreement with Niles teachers.

Niles teachers and board members are glad it is all over.

“We are relieved we reached a settlement," said Education Association President Katherine Elsner.

“Very pleased to see that the union came to the table," said School Board President Jeff Curry.

Curry says after meeting 33 times, he thought the school board would never come to an agreement with Niles teachers.

“No; Not this way not this soon.  I thought it would go to impasse," said Curry

“We bargained in good faith.  We knew that we would reach an agreement.  We knew that a settlement was out there," said Elsner.

That agreement still has Niles teachers taking a big pay cut.

“Five percent salary table cut, on top of that, the state has added in more retirement and insurance costs," said Elsner.

But that agreement is still better for teachers than the original proposal.

“Certainly not what we were originally asking for which was around eight percent," said Curry.

Both parties nudged a little so they could get back to educating Niles Students.

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