DANVILLE — The two sides of a teachers' contract dispute could begin bargaining with the help of a federal mediator later in January.
The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service contacted the district and Danville Education Association late last week regarding the district's request for mediation and offered three possible bargaining dates — Jan. 22, 23 and 24.
District negotiators responded that they were available all three days, while DEA negotiators were available on Jan. 22 and 24. Now the two sides are waiting to hear back from the mediator to finalize the dates, Superintendent Mark Denman said.
The DEA's 650 members have been working under their old contracts — one for teachers and teaching assistants, and one for secretaries and learning resource clerks — since they expired on June 30.
The two sides exchanged proposals in mid-April but have come together only three times. At the first session in late May, the two sides left without discussing any contract issues.
While the two sides reported making some progress on Nov. 28, they said talks broke down on Dec. 4, which led to the school board making a written request for mediation.