Bethel teachers ratify contract

A new contract for Bethel School District's teachers is all but done following a vote Monday by members of the union to ratify a proposed agreement. Members of the Bethel Education Association, by a 93 percent majority, voted in favor of the new three-year contract. The approval means the 2016-17 school year will begin as scheduled with classes Sept. 1, a district spokeswoman said. The agreement still requires the authorization of the School Board, which is expected to come at a board meeting Sept. 13. Until Monday, when union members gathered at Liberty Middle School for the ratification,the two sides had a tentative agreement that was announced over the weekend following five months of negotiations. District superintendent Tom Seigel said classes would start on time if the contract was approved. The settlement was reached after both sides requested mediation by the state Public Employees Relations Commission.


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