Hahn said the school board appeared to be softening on the controversial duty day issue, and "we are hopeful we can come to some language that will be satisfactory to both parties."
But Gary Diamond, chief negotiator for the school board, said, "we're looking to define duty day, but we're still worlds apart" on the issue.
Teachers are required to work 7 1/4 hours - or eight periods a day. Most teachers are assigned to teach five 45-minute periods with the remaining three periods used for such duties as monitoring in the cafeteria, supervising bus
arrivals and departures and preparing for classes.
The union wants the daily schedule to remain unchanged, but the school board has insisted that the administration be given flexibility in the scheduling, which they said would include assigning teachers to more than five classes a day.
On the issue of sabbaticals, the union wants the definition of "leaves" spelled out in the contract; sabbaticals now are awarded as a managerial prerogative.
Last month the school board raised its salary offer to an 8 percent average increase in each of the next three school years, up from the previous 6 percent.
But Hahn said the offer would not be equitable to experienced teachers, those with 15 or more years of experience.