LABOR Weathersfield teachers union accepts contract

The school board is scheduled to vote on the contract Wednesday.
MINERAL RIDGE -- The 69-member union representing teachers in the Weathersfield school district has voted to accept a new contract.
School officials would not reveal details of the contract until it is voted on by the school board, which is scheduled to happen at the board's meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The board also will have a resolution on its agenda for the district's 30 nonteaching employees, represented by the Ohio Association of Public Schools Employees.
Schools treasurer Angela Lewis said Thursday the school board bargaining team met in three mediation sessions with the teachers union, the Mineral Ridge Educational Association, the last of which was Aug. 3. An agreement was reached then through mediation.
Meeting schedules
Teachers requested that talks go to mediation after a July 11 negotiation session. The mediator was appointed through the State Employees Relations Board. The union met Wednesday and approved the contract proposal, Lewis said.
The teachers union had broken away from the Ohio Education Association in July 2003, and the board could not negotiate with it until it became a recognized union in its own right. Talks began in March. Teachers worked without a contract for the 2004-05 school year, continuing under terms of their previous agreement.
Teachers had taken a wage freeze in 2003-04 to help the district, which was under state fiscal watch. The watch was lifted in June, after district voters approved a 5.5-mill, five-year emergency operating levy to generate $538,168 a year in November and renewed a 4.2-mill, five-year emergency operating levy, which generates $418,128 a year, in May.

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