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JORDAN, TEACHER UNION APPROVE 4.4% RAISE

The Jordan School District and its teachers union have reached agreement on a contract that provides a 4.404 percent raise for 1996-97.

Negotiations started early and progressed well, said Mark Mickelsen, president of the Jordan Education Association, which represents most of the district's 3,200 teachers."We feel really good about the package," he said Friday.

Jordan's Board of Education tentatively approved the contract Thursday, but it will wait until the association's membership ratifies the package before it formalizes the contract May 14.

"The district is very pleased with the outcome of the negotiation process this year," spokeswoman Patty Dahl said. The state provided an increase in the value of the weighted pupil unit - the basic way the state pays districts for the number of students they educate, Dahl said. "That made it possible for us to give a healthy increase."

Teachers have until May 9 to vote on the package, which maintains current insurance benefits and changes to some personnel policies for part-time and retiring employees.