Despite not having a contract, teachers will be in their classrooms next week at Riverside-Brookfield High School when school starts as scheduled on Aug. 14.

Teachers reported to work one day earlier, on Aug. 13, for an institute day. On Aug. 7 the school and union issued a joint press release saying that teachers will work without a contract as contract talks continue, with more negotiating sessions scheduled through September.

The previous five-year contract with the teachers expired on June 30, and talks have been going on since the spring. Both the head of the teachers union at RBHS and the school board president said in the press release that they are happy with the progress of negotiations.

“We have had some great discussions this summer, and we have reached tentative agreements on mutually important areas,” said Wendy Cassens, an English teacher who is the president of the Riverside Brookfield Education Association, the union local of teachers and other staff at RBHS. “The teachers are excited to get back to work and see the students. As with prior negotiations, the RBEA is willing to begin the school year without a contract.”

District 208 school board President Matt Sinde made a separate statement in the press release.

“I am pleased with the progress we have made this summer,” Sinde said. “It is obvious to everyone who is at the table that both the RBEA and the board of education want to work collaboratively to reach an agreement that is fair and financially sustainable.”

Sinde and Cassens also issued a joint statement in the press release.

“The board of education and the RBEA are pleased with the progress and momentum of the negotiation this forward and look forward to continuing contract negotiations into the fall,” Sinde and Cassens said.

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