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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants set a date to strike if a tentative agreement is not reached. The strike date is Oct. 29. 

Talks with the district on a new contract began in April. A federal mediator was brought in after some contract points couldn't be resolved earlier this month.

“It is with a heavy heart that we do this,” says Paula Busboom, president of the Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants (DFTA).  “Never in my many years as president of this union did I think we would be setting a strike date.  But we cannot allow health care to be priced out of the reach of our members.  The Board of Education needs to rethink their proposals.”

Another meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. The Union plans to rally at the board of education meeting at the Keil Building on Oct. 22, at 5 p.m. 

The parties have meet a  total of 14 times and 3 times with the federal mediator present. Their contract expired on June 30. Negotiations are at a stand still on contact hours with students, health insurance and wages. 

The parties’ proposals can be found on the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board’s website