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EXCLUSIVE: Bethlehem School District approves new union contract

Superintendent Les Loomis, in what is likely his last board meeting, described the health care concessions in the contract as "incredibly significant."

"Having been involved in negotiations along the way that I think the concessions in the health insurance are incredibly significant because the trend always of the increases in health insurance far outstrips any kind of salary increases," Loomis said. "I think you're going to see continuing significant saving as we have now and recent years the board and the district have chosen to particularly concentrate in that area."

District officials are also touting the new provisions in the BCUEA contract as allowing for greater flexibility in assigning bus drivers, which will lead to more drivers continually maintaining their regular routes. Loomis said the stability will lead to improved safety in the district's transportation program, which he said is already known across the state for its safety and reliability.

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