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Back at the bargaining table, teacher negotiations resume in Nashua

Union Leader Correspondent

January 17. 2018 11:41PM
Nashua teachers leave an all-district assembly last fall wearing blue shirts representing the Nashua Teachers' Union; the group's contract expired last year and negotiations resumed this week. (Kimberly Houghton file photo)

NASHUA — A tentative bargaining agreement could be reached today as negotiations between school officials and the Nashua Teachers’ Union have resumed.

Both groups are back at the bargaining table this week. The union contract for city teachers expired at the end of August 2017, which impacts about 1,400 educators.

A negotiation session took place on Tuesday, and another is expected to begin Thursday afternoon.

“The negotiations session has concluded for the day without reaching an agreement,” Adam Marcoux, NTU president, posted in a statement on Tuesday. “While we are frustrated and disappointed, we will reconvene on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in hopes of reaching a tentative agreement to present to the membership on Jan. 29 at Nashua High School North.”

The NTU rejected a separate tentative agreement with school officials last September — believed to be the first time in history that a tentative contract was denied by city educators.

Following the union’s 357-269 vote to reject the four-year tentative contract, negotiating teams from the union and the Board of Education were forced to restart the negotiating process.

In a memo to the union, Marcoux said this week that a ratification meeting on Jan. 29 is the ultimate goal.

“The team and I agree that we are very close to an agreement. It is unfortunate that the BOE team couldn’t close the deal with us in December,” wrote Marcoux.

Negotiations originally began one year ago in January 2017, followed by one month of mediation and the declaration of an impasse in May. Although the union thought it was about to settle a new, multi-year agreement in mid-June, that agreement did not take place.

Negotiations then resumed in September after a three-month hiatus, but the tentative agreement presented to union members was ultimately rejected.

Since then, union members have been asked to discontinue membership on all district committees and school committees that are not contractual obligations until a new contract is approved.

Superintendent Jahmal Mosley told all city teachers during a school kick-off meeting in August that he appreciates their hard work and understands that they all have families.

“I recognize the blue shirts here,” he said earlier. “Many of you have sacrificed four to five years of not getting a (salary) increase … I know that we can get a contract to be done — I promise you that. I know that it can be done.”

Education Labor Local and County Government Nashua

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