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Teacher contract may be near at NH


April 21, 2010
North Harrison Community School Corp. may be poised to settle the long-standing impasse that has had the teachers operating on a contract that expired six years ago.

Dan Haskell, president of the North Harrison Classroom Teachers Association, said Monday that a proposed contract was ratified last Wednesday afternoon by the teachers and now waits for the five-member school board to do the same.

"An overwhelming number of teachers voted in favor of the contract," said Haskell, putting the number at about 86 percent. "The teachers are just tired and want to move on, get this behind us."

Haskell did not know when the school board would meet to ratify the contract. Superintendent John Roeder did not return a phone call Monday, and Gary Byrne, president of the school board, did not respond to a request for an interview.

The contract, if approved by the board, will be for the 2005-06 school year through the 2009-10 school year.

"The school board, in November, was just not willing to go past this year," Haskell said.

Haskell is optimistic that the school board will ratify the contract, as three of the five members participated in the negotiation process.

"We felt like, in the last year, that negotiations had opened up some," Haskell said, adding that face-to-face meetings arranged by Randy Barrett, the previous superintendent who served in an interim capacity, were helpful after both parties dismissed a mediator.

One point that caused a delay was provisions for early retirement.

"That's what took the majority of time," Haskell said.

"We're just ready to move forward," he said.

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