Teachers in the Murphysboro School District said yes Wednesday to a new one-year contract agreement with the administration.
Murphysboro Education Association spokesperson Melinda Pierson says the new deal includes a pay increase and some help from the district in offsetting the teachers' health insurance costs.
The deal came Monday evening after teachers had authorized their negotiating team to announce a strike as early as Tuesday. Pierson says teachers vehemently wanted to avoid a walkout.
"While we were prepared to strike, we were really hopeful that it would not come to that. There was never a point where we, even in the late hours of Monday night, there was never a point that we wanted to wash our whole hands of it and hit the picket line. We always wanted to continue to do our jobs."
Pierson says she hopes the compromise worked out this week will carry over into next year when negotiations start on another contract agreement.
"Our hope is that in future contract negotiations that board members and union leaders will continue to work together to figure out where does Murphysboro need to be to attract and keep the best quality teachers."
The school board will vote on the deal Tuesday evening.