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Strike vote could be next step for Unit 4 teachers

CHAMPAIGN -- Negotiations between the school district and teachers continue as they try to finalize union contracts.
CHAMPAIGN -- Negotiations between the school district and teachers continue as they try to finalize union contracts.

"I think they definitely deserve to be paid more," says Sheri Williamson who has a daughter in Unit 4 Schools.

Whether teachers will be is still up for debate in Unit 4 Schools. Teachers are at a crossroads. While union negotiators and administrators have worked out most of their contract there's still a big issue on the table; how much to pay them.

The next step is for the CFT union to show teachers what they have so far. Then, the next meeting to negotiate with the District is 18 days away. Superintendent Judy Wiegand says she hopes an agreement is made by then.

If not, another session is scheduled for October 24. Wiegand says neither side is at the point where they've given a final offer, and the union says they're going into the next meeting to make progress.

However, the thought of that doesn't worry Sheri Williamson who has a daughter at Garden Hills.

"It's sad that they have to fight for that. It should be something where there's an understanding where there should be built-in increases and shouldn't be argued. Again, there's a question of where is that money coming from, but you have to spend money to make money,"  says Williamson.

In a statement Thursday the district said...
    We value and respect our faculty and staff and want to work with the CFT to come to a        
    successful conclusion to these negotiations. We are also mindful that we need to be fiscally
    responsible, especially in light of state and federal funding cuts and uncertainty with pension
    costs.

Once the union meets with teachers they could take a strike vote, but there's no word on when the intent to strike vote will be.

The district says they're disappointed CFT is taking a strike vote. CFT says they're disappointed the district hasn't made more movement.
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