"The teachers were the ones who came forward," Tebbano said. "I commend the teachers for not making demands on the school district. I want to be up front about that because they've been very honorable about this."
Rounds said that Bethlehem teachers realized the implications of such a momentous economic crisis and were willing to help.
"I believe the strength of the vote demonstrates that the Bethlehem Central Teachers' Association is committed to the financial stability of this school district," Rounds said. "The membership understood the importance of this contract agreement and responded with outstanding support."
Board of Education President James Lytle, who is finishing his tenure on the board at the end of his current term July 1, also thanked the union.
"We credit the union leadership who supported this proposal," Lytle said at the April 22 announcement. "We are grateful to the teachers association for working with us."
Lytle added that he didn't know how unusual the situation was but that he has heard of very few contract concession around the state.
The board of education is expected to vote in favor of the new contract on Wednesday, May 20, a day after the district budget vote, which proposes $87.56 million budget and a 1.76 percent tax rate increase.