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Teacher bargaining continues


   Contract bargaining teams from the 509-J district and teachers met for mediation March 16, but no settlement was reached.
   "Proposals were exchanged and we're at the point where we will be submitting another proposal back to them through the mediator," said Madras Education Association spokesperson Julie Nisley.
   Another mediation session has not been scheduled, but the two sides will exchange proposals through the state mediator, she said.
   In describing the process prior to the March 16 meeting, 509-J Human Resources Director Melinda Boyle said mediation can continue as long as both sides agree to it.
   If mediation isn't working, an impasse can be declared, but both sides have to agree to that.
   If there is an impasse, each side must submit its final proposal summary to the mediator within seven days. After that, there is a 30-day "cooling off" period, as a fact finding process is completed by the mediator.
   "Hopefully, we're still in the mediation process," Boyle said.