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MURPHYSBORO — According to the district's superintendent, a tentative deal was struck Monday night between Murphysboro School District 186 and the Murphysboro Education Association. 

Chris Grode, the district's superintendent, said in a text message Monday night that a deal had been struck. 

"A tentative agreement has been reached," Grode wrote.

"Details will come after the association ratifies and board approves. School will be in session tomorrow."

It was unclear as of press time if this ratification would be completed Monday night or at a later date.

Melinda Pierson, an instructor at General John A. Logan Attendance Center and the union’s vice president, said in a written statement Friday that the union had overwhelmingly rejected the administration's final proposed contract and that a strike could be the result of Monday's meeting should an agreement not be reached.

The MEA voted to authorize a strike in the middle of September. Pierson said this did not guarantee a strike but gave the bargaining team the authority to call one should they deem necessary. 

Pierson said difficulties began for the teacher’s union before the end of last school year — she said there was a delayed response to their request to negotiate a new contract. Pierson said from there, the two sides just could not reach an agreement without any particular sticking point. Murphysboro public school teachers have gone without a contract since the start of school.

Pierson previously told The Southern that the proposed contract by the union was about $762,000; however, a news release from the district last month contended that the union’s combined proposed contract would come closer to a $1.2 million increase for a one-year contract.

Pierson also said that the teachers had not in some time had a substantive pay increase because of several pay freezes taken by Murphysboro educators during recent budgeting hardships. Grode denied this.

The MEA represents 148 teachers in Murphysboro.

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On Twitter: @ismithreports



Isaac Smith is a reporter covering Jackson County.

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