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After 15 tries, Mason City Schools and teachers union still working on contract negotiations

Mason High School
Mason High School

After holding their 15th negotiation session this Monday, the Mason City Schools Board of Education and the district's teachers union, the Mason Education Association, still have not reached a contract agreement for the upcoming school year.

The two parties have been working to reach a deal since February and began using a federal mediator in April.

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In a statement released this week, the school board says the challenges Mason's teachers have faced around increasing student needs, mental health concerns, technological advancements, and societal shifts have added more complexity to the negotiation talks.

The board says it's committed to reaching an agreement that would keep its teachers paid at the top of the market while being mindful of the community's resources.

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Last month, the school district approved a 3% salary increase for non-union staff and administrators. Those employees include 485 education aides, assistants, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, nurses, student nutrition workers, tech staff, and 42 administrators.

Mason City Schools has not indicated when the school board plans to meet union leaders next to continue negotiating. The Board of Education's next meeting is set for July 9.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.