After a productive 15-hour-long bargaining session last weekend, the Danville School District 118’s negotiating teams and the Danville Education Association plan to meet again with a federal mediator this Saturday to continue working on contracts for the district’s teachers, secretaries and learning resource clerks.

Just as last week, the two sides will meet in closed session starting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St.

Superintendent Mark Denman said some business was accomplished during Saturday’s marathon session that lasted until midnight.

“We have tentative agreements on some of the language items (in the contracts), and we started serious conversations on insurance and compensation,” he said.

By meeting again this Saturday, “we’re hoping the progress will continue,” he said.

“It was a long day,” Denman said of last weekend’s session. “But progress is being made and both teams are willing to work.”

For nearly a year, a total of 449 certified employees and 206 non-certified employees have been working without a new contract. The previous contracts expired June 30.

At a December meeting of the DEA membership, union officials said that the district’s proposal — which includes employee contributions toward insurance coverage, plus a longer work day and 15 extra work days per school year while freezing salaries at the 2011-2012 level — was unacceptable.

DEA President Robin Twidwell did not immediately return calls for comment on Tuesday.

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