11/20/2013 2:00:00 PM Tentative Agreement in RSU 40 Contract Negotiations
By Dominik Lobkowicz
A tentative agreement between RSU 40 and the Medomak Valley Educators Association could spell the end of nearly two years of teacher contract negotiations.
Interim Superintendent Michael Cormier said Nov. 19, a negotiating session between representatives of the two parties on Nov. 18 ended in a "tentative agreement" on the terms of the contract.
"I'm glad we've reached tentative agreement. That's a very positive thing," Cormier said.
The contract negotiations drew attention during the last school year as the teachers "work-to-rule," where they strictly followed the requirements of their contracts, students held a sit-in protest in support of the teachers which ended with around 25 students suspended, and teachers protesting by opting not to march at Medomak Valley High School's graduation.
The Nov. 18 meeting between the negotiators was the first since the process hung up on the terms of teacher compensation in early October.
The board was pushing for a link between pay raises and student achievement, and the teachers were seeking a three-year plan to organize and implement such a system, negotiators said following the Oct. 7 meeting.
Cormier said the details of the tentative agreement will not be released until both the teacher's union and the district board of directors have ratified on the contract.
The board plans to hold an executive session at their meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21 to discuss the tentative agreement, but contract language still needs to be developed before a final approval can be given, Cormier said.
Paul Forest, president and chief negotiator for MVEA, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.