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Mediator has idea to solve Wausau teacher contract impasse

Wausau school board
Wausau school board

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - A state mediator will present his proposal to resolve an impasse on teacher contract negotiations in Wausau to the teachers union and school board over the next few weeks.

Both sides met behind closed doors for four hours Tuesday night without reaching an agreement.

The school board will consider the proposal in a closed session meeting February 8.

It is unclear when the teachers union will review the proposal.

Neither party is obligated to accept the proposal because it not binding.

One sticking point in negotiations has been whether to grant pay raises for teachers who have reached the top of their pay scale. The district does not favor the raises while the teachers union has called for them.

Also at play in the negotiations are the district's plans to cut $8 million from its budget over the next three years.

Superintendent Steve Murley has suggested two cost-saving measures.

One would require 40 teachers to retire over the next three years or else the district would be forced to make deep layoffs at the elementary, middle and high schools.

The second option would not fill vacancies gained through attrition and would require teachers to pick up teaching a sixth class.