They're getting closer and closer.The bargaining issues are down to, primarily, economics, and the differences between the offers from the United School Employees of Pasco and the district are shrinking.At school-related personnel talks this week, for instance, the union asked for 2.3 percent raises (down from its original ask of 2.75 percent), while the district proposed 2 percent raises (up from its initial 1.75 percent).Teacher bargaining resumes Thursday evening. The last round had the sides about $2 million apart.The School Board held a closed-door session Tuesday morning to give its representatives their marching orders.Both district and union officials said they expect a deal soon. How soon?When the sides have reached an agreement in the past, they have held a joint meeting for teachers and school-related personnel, where they pass around the final documents for official sign offs. And they're telling the Gradebook they're working to schedule that session for next week, barring any unforeseen hurdles.That time frame could have added back pay in workers' pockets around the winter holidays. Stay tuned.