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      Freeland teachers picket for a new contract

      Freeland teachers picketing Monday night, protesting proposed pay cuts.

      "We've given offers but we haven't been getting offers in return" says Union president Tom Short.

      The teachers union says they're unnecessary because district leaders say they're financially stable for now.

      "One of the points of contention is that we are wondering why the administration has gotten raises and their healthcare paid for while we are being asked for a roll-back" says Short.

      He also says the proposed pay cuts range from 5 to 10 percent, including benefit reductions.

      District officials say their negotiations are fair.

      "The board of education truly respects the job done by the teachers in the Freeland community school district and we are working hard to provide them with a fair contract" says Superintendent Matt Cairy.

      A new bargaining meeting is set for next month to give each side time to bring new ideas to the table.

      "We are going to continue to work to make sure we have a fair agreement for everyone" says Cairy.

      Teachers assuring families their children's education comes first.

      "Teachers don't strike" says Short.

      "We are not going to strike".