Nashua teacher talks going to mediator
“The NTU felt outside help was needed in order to move forward and has invoked their right to declare impasse,” read the statement.An impasse sets off provisions of state law, including a provision allowing for a neutral mediator to step in and attempt to get the two sides to come to terms.
If they don’t agree on a mediator, the state Board of Education can pick a neutral party, who would have 45 days to bring the parties together. If there is still no agreement, the mediator can make recommendations for resolving the dispute, which the two sides have 10 days to accept or reject.
Union president Robert Sherman refused to elaborate on the statement and would not discuss details of the contract or any of the problems holding up an agreement.
The current two-year contract, which expires on Aug. 31, increased salaries by about 2 percent, but those increases were offset by a 10 percent increase in employee contributions to health insurance.
Nashua teachers have claimed they earn less than teachers in similar districts.
Average salaries for teachers in nearby towns are also higher. For the 2012-13 school years, the average salary for teachers in Amherst was $69,166, while Milford teachers earned $62,687 on average.
Teacher salaries depend on a number of factors, including the length of time a teacher has been employed and the educational degrees he or she has earned.
Long disputes between the board and the union are not unusual. In 2008, after working without a contract for two years, Nashua avoided a threatened teachers strike in an 11th hour bargaining session.
“Both the NTU and Board of Education agree that an atmosphere of collaboration and mutual respect during these negotiations is in everyone’s best interests, especially for the district’s students and their parents,” the statement said.
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