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EXCLUSIVE: BC TEACHER'S UNION TO MAKE CONCESSIONS

"We have renegotiated the teacher's contract and on Monday (April 20) we entered into a memorandum of agreement with the BCTA and the school district in what I would consider significant concessions that will garner huge savings in the next few years," Tebbano told The Spotlight in an excusive interview on Wednesday, April 22.

Tebbano and the board of education will formally announced the contract during the April 22 board meeting at the district offices in Delmar.

Teacher representatives came back to the table and reached a new deal after previous talks broke down in February. The Bethlehem Board of Education held an executive session with union members on Wednesday, April 8.

However, the board didn't hammer out all of the details and did not formally vote on any contractual changes that evening.

"The contract had the full support of the executive committee of the BCTA," Tebbano said. "From what I understand they will have an intensive information session over the next two weeks."

Tebbano said if the union does not adopt the new contract then full contract negotiations will the district will take place next year. The supervisor said if that happens "nothing would be guaranteed" and the cost savings from the new contract would be less immediate.

The BCTA is expected to vote on the new contract on May 5, and, if the union adopted it, the district's board of education would have to vote on the contract amendment to make it official. Tebbano said the board has given him permission of for a memorandum of agreement, which he said, "means the board is behind this."

With 465 employees covered by the teacher's contract, the district's budget increases each year by hundreds of thousands of dollars just to cover the salary increases. There are two other union contracts with the district: The Bethlehem Central United Employees Association and Bethlehem Principals Association.

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