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Ridgewood School Board Voting on New Teacher Contract

With the union ratifying a new three-year deal on Wednesday, the school board will be meeting Thursday morning at a special public meeting to vote on a new contract.

After an acrimonious two-year negotiation period, it appears the school board and its teachers might have finally come to an agreement on a new three-year deal.

Ridgewood Education Association (REA) chief negotiator Laura Grasso in an e-mail to reporters said the union members ratified the terms of a new three-year deal Wednesday.

The contract moves to a vote by the Ridgewood Board of Education Thursday at 9 a.m., school board president Sheila Brogan told Patch.

Both parties agreed to a memorandum of acceptance on the parameters of a new deal in September but final action slowed due to delays on new salary guides. The school board accepted the guides at its Monday meeting. The details of the contract have not yet been made available.

The teachers union has been working under the terms of a deal that expired in July of 2011. No raises were appropriated for the prior school year, though a 2 percent increase was allocated for the present 2012-2013 school year.

Negotiations on a new deal began in fall of 2010, but tension between the board and union had been boiling even months prior.

Faced with a budget shortfall, a previous board asked the union to accept a salary freeze in March of 2010. The union declined and talks fell into mediation for an extended period of time, a period that included public protests by the REA.

Teachers in Glen Rock recently struck their own deal late in September, agreeing to an annual salary increase of 2.36 over the next three years. Teachers in the borough, however, now pay more into their health care benefits. 

Stay with Patch Thursday morning for details on the settlement.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

James Kleimann October 18, 2012 at 01:18 AM
I'll be there Thursday morning for the vote, so stop by for the details. The teacher contract is the largest budget item of the single largest local tax driver.

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