Bethlehem teacher's union to make concessions

It would be subject to the inflationary rate of that year, according to Tebbano.

The new contract is tentative at this point, according to district spokesman Matt Leon, and has to be voted on by the union and passed by two-thirds of its membership before it can be adopted by the board of education and put into effect. The teacher’s union currently covers 465 employees at the school.

Tebbano and the board of education formally announced the contract renegotiation during the April 22 board meeting when the district was adopting its $87.6 million budget for the 2009-10 school year.

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 that the executive representative council of the teacher's union was supporting the new contract. Dave Rounds, president of the BCTA and executive representative, said it was an important step for the community.

"The agreement between the BCTA and the BCSD provides the community with significant savings during this difficult economic climate, while at the same time providing economic stability for the staff and the district," Rounds said. "I believe the way the district and union were able to reach an agreement in this difficult environment is a tribute to the leadership on both sides. We will be able to maintain a quality educational program, save the community money, and maintain the integrity of working conditions. It is a good agreement for this community."

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