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WADENA – The protracted contract dispute in the Wadena School Division could soon be over. The two sides reached a tentative settlement December 23 about midnight, after two long days of bargaining.

The three-year settlement between CUPE 3078 and the Wadena School Division was concluded with the assistance of provincial conciliator Doug Forseth.

No details will be released until after the two sides hold ratification meetings.

CUPE school support workers will hold their ratification vote on December 29 and the school board on December 31.

If the two sides accept the tentative agreement, school secretaries, teacher associates, caretakers and other CUPE support workers in the division will be back at work on January 5, 2004.

The strike, which has lasted more than four months, affects schools in Wadena, Kelvington, Lintlaw, Archerwill, Rose Valley, Quill Lake an the Quill Lake Hutterite Colony.