Mediator called to negotiate teacher contracts

Posted: Updated:

A state mediator has been called in to help negotiate contract talks between East Ramapo schools and teachers.

More than 400 teachers gathered outside a board meeting Wednesday night to protest the lack of a new contract, despite months of negotiations. The last contract for East Ramapo teachers expired on June 30.

East Ramapo Teachers Association President Irene Bielski says it is the same old story for the school district. Bielski says the last contract teachers had in 2003 took three years to negotiate.

School district officials say they are on the teachers' side and want nothing but the best for them. However, representatives of the teachers? union say issues brought up at the board meeting could have been stall tactics as they were of little importance.

For now, a new mediator has been chosen by the state public employment relations board to help both sides move forward to an agreement.

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