The Carbondale Elementary School officials reached a deal to avoid a teachers strike with two unions that could stage a walkout. District officials had a meeting with the Carbondale Educational Support Professional Association for more than five hours. Several of the members belonging to the Carbondale Educational Support Professional Association held a rally shortly before contract negotiations started. Officials said, on Thursday, We’re kind of at a stopping point when it comes to financials. We barely started. We talked about sick leave and vacation leave, in which the board presented to us taking a cut in both of those,” Lueker said before the negotiations started Officials also say, support staff, like teacher’s aides, secretaries and maintenance workers, used to get raises along with what the teachers union negotiated, but that stopped two years ago. Many employees cast votes to unionize last year but this is the first ever contract negotiations. The school district still has not reached an agreement with the teachers union.