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Nashua teachers, school board reach tentative labor deal

NASHUA — Two long sessions at the bargaining table seem to have paid off for the Nashua Teachers Union, which now has a tentative contract agreement with the Board of Education.

"The board and the Nashua Teachers Union had two very productive mediation sessions last week, and we are still working on language surrounding mediation discussions," said BOE Chairman Robert Hallowell. "As usual, both the NTU and the board must review and approve any potential agreement before it can move forward in the process."

Neither side can release any information about the details of the contract until it is finalized and presented to the teachers and the full Board of Education for approval.

Still, news of a tentative agreement is a positive note in the negotiations that stalled in early August when the union declared an impasse and an independent arbitrator was brought in to mediate the contract talks.

Negotiations on the new contract began in January of this year. The last teachers contract, which provided minimal raises that were gobbled up by a 10 percent hike in health care costs, expired on Aug. 31.

BOE member William Mosher said even though both sides have tentatively agreed on the issues, there's still work ahead.

"Now it will go through the process," said Mosher.

Once the negotiating teams for both sides have worked through the details, the contract will go through several stages of approval."It needs to be ratified by the teachers, and approved by the Board of Education," said Mosher. "Then it needs the approval of the Board of Aldermen and the mayor."

Negotiating teams hope to finish their work within the next week, and the union hopes to have its vote by the end of the month.

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