The Bernards Township Education has tentatively settled a three-year contract with the Bernards Township school district, about a week before the previous contract expired, it was announced at Monday's Board of Education meeting.
Board President Susan McGowan said she would not discuss details of the proposed pact in public until the agreement is ratified by the education association and then given final approval by the school board.
In all likelihood, ratification by the educational association, with more than 700 members, probably won't be until September, Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian said on Monday night.
The current contract expires on June 30, Markarian said. During the last round of negotiations, settled two years ago, talks went for more than a year beyond the previous contract's expiration. Teachers worked for a year under the terms of the expired contract.
The tentative settlement was reached on June 18, following ongoing negotiations, McGowan said. She previously had said at an April board meeting that negotiators already had met three or four times by that point.
She declined to say at that time whether the school calendar was one of the subjects during negotiations.
However, when the board approved a revised school calendar for 2013-14 earlier this year, school officials talked about whether teachers might be willing in future contracts to report for school prior to Labor Day to move up the first day of school for district students.
Under the last contract, the starting salary for teachers with a B.A. is $45,573, Denise Graff (now Denise Policastro), co-president of the Bernards Township Education Association, said in June 2011. The contract also covers staff support and other employees in the school district.
At that time, it was announced by both the BTEA and school district that the retroactive contract granted raises of 1.5 percent for 2010-11 and 2 percent annually for next two school years. However, teachers also were to begin contributing more to their health benefits during the contract.